It has been said that people buy pets that look like they do. I have proof of this. I saw Rosie O'Donnell walking her gorilla just yesterday.
In this contest you are asked to create images of animals that also contain "human faces" using images of celebrities, politicians or any other recognizable face. You can look at this previous contest for inspiration.
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This contest is fueled by the following news: If you take a close look at dogs and their owners the old saying that they are alike is actually right in 3 out of 10 pairs. So says the statistics of the recent study conducted by professor Nicholas Christenfeld
of the University of California. Christenfeld took a random sample of the dogs and their owners and took pictures of them to study the visual similarities and behavioral patterns. Strong facial feature similarities were found in three out of ten cases. In other words dogs do look like their owners
almost in every third household which keeps these four legged friends. Why does this happen, and specifically how does this happen? The process has to do with the psychology of picking up pets, especially dogs by the future owners. When a person looks at mutts, he is naturally drawn to those that resemble him in looks or behavior. When they live together these similarities tend to grow bigger as they pick up the behavioral patterns from each other. Dogs, like children begin to resemble their owners in their behavior. Visual trait similarities (especially hair style) often remain and even increase through the years. The research study at the University of California even conducted an experiment. The photos of dogs and their owners were separated and given to a panel of people who were asked to possibly match back pairs of the owners and their dogs. The results were amazing - in over sixty percent of cases the pairs were matched correctly. Such a high statistical figure shows that similar visual traits do play a vital role in pet choosing, and it's especially true with dogs - animals which are closer to humans than any other pets. Dogs are also shown to have a higher intelligence than any other household pets. Christenfeld suggest that psychology plays a vital role in the choice of a mutt.
Humans are naturally drawn to animals that resemble them either with visual traits or in behavior.
Not all animals are equally domesticated. Agricultural animals are the most domesticated ones. They have a highly developed ability for adapting (with the help of man) to various external conditions. For example, they can tolerate extremely cold and hot conditions and eat not only the forages, which are available in nature, but also the ones that are prepared artificially. Such properties are possessed by the cow, sheep, horse and pig, and consequently they merged in the household. But there are also ones like the buffalo, camel, reindeer, llama or alpaca, which live only in particular regions - in the very cold, or in hot regions of Asia and Africa or on the high mountains of Peru.
Pets are beneficial to humans. Supporters of the movement for the rights of animals think that man must not kill animals for meat and skin. The most hard-line vegetarians abstain even from milk and eggs. Pets are the source of foodstuffs (milk, oil, cheese and other dairy products, and also meat, fat). Others are reared for making clothes and shoes. Some carry loads and carry out agricultural work. Sometimes animals are kept for pleasure, for example, some birds. However many birds are reared for getting useful products (meat, eggs, feathers, fur). House insects are reared for obtaining useful products. Bees produce honey, and silkworms are reared for silk.
The main feature of pets which is used by the selective breeders is the variety of their qualities. This is used for raising various breeds. Thanks to laborious selection work, in the last two centuries some original animals have been transformed beyond recognition. Examples are the brachycerous cow, the Leicester and Southdown sheep, the English racer and carthorse, and last, the Yorkshire and Berkshire breeds of pigs. These changes in the organism of animals and the fixation of desirable heredity became possible because of the very long work, carried out by many generations of breeders.
If we take the original animal and put it near to the developed animal, then the results of breeding often seem just impossible. The English bull weighs up to 50 to 70 pounds. The Russian country sheep weighs 50 - 60 pounds, the sheep of the Southdown breed is fattened up to 400-600 pounds, and besides this it gives 10-15 pounds of fine long wool. English pigs in one year reach the weight of 10-12 pounds (for comparison, the Russian pig has to be raised for 3-4 years so as to attain this weight). Nothing more can be said about English racers and carthorses.
An interesting example of changes in the features of pets depending upon the requirement of man is the merino sheep. The breeding of its hair-coat covering was determined by the changes in demand for different types of wool. In the last decades, sheep breeders have tried to change the length, fineness and other characteristics of the merino wool.
At present selective breeders want to develop such breeds which could be useful in different ways. For example, in large horned livestock, they are trying to combine milking with the ability of fattening, and in sheep – the production of good wool with meat.
The works of the Blackwell and Collins brothers have shown that by means of selective breeding, it is possible to get desirable changes in the attributes of pets, and it is just a guess, whether there is any limit to these changes.
Darwin in his world famous composition "the Origin of Species" has repeatedly referred to achievements of cattlemen in deducing new breeds of livestock. All chapter 1 of the book is devoted towards changes, which animals and plants undergo during their breeding processes.