The pressures of competition for food resources, mate
selection, and the peculiar aspects of the environment after
the Flood would have led to the selection of variants better
suited to survive in the new, harsh habitat and perhaps the
need to avoid predation themselves. It is also possible that
the founder population of felids emerging from the Ark
may have already diverged remarkably from the original
and that they were already part way along the pathway of
animals formerly socialized to humans, becoming less
comfortable in their presence. It is important to emphasize
that the gene pool represented in the Flood survivors was
much reduced over that represented before the catastrophic
event for the simple reason that few animals were preserved
from the multitude presumably available. It is suggested that
opportunity and/or necessity drove the first felids to seek
an alternative food source, perhaps much like the vampire
finches of the Galápagos now feed on blood from pecking
the juvenile feathers of sea birds. 54
Emotional, nutritional, and other pressures (stress)
possibly enabled selection among genetic traits already
present to deliver changes in morphology, physiology,
and behaviour. Changes in neural crest numbers, their
distribution and activity due to genetic modifications appear
to provide a unifying basis for the root cause of tendencies
towards and away from docility. Variable interactions
among genes are also possible and can help to account
for the (sometimes) dramatic changes observed. 26, 49 Other
genetic events outside the neural crest cells’ domain may
also be involved. A great deal of detective work is still
required to determine the genes involved in domestication/
feralization and how they interact to influence physiology,
behaviour, and the morphology of animals. It would be
interesting to undertake in-depth studies on the genetic
profile of ostensibly vegetarian felines55 and complete a raft
of enzyme activity studies.
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