Wild Animals/Evolution of cats

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QUESTION: Will cats evolve in the future like under 10yrs?
What will they be like bigger or smaller. I hope bigger they can't defend theirselves like dogs can.
What do you think they will look and will they have new ability possible stamina that way they can chase their prey if the prey can run longer then cat can do also good for running way from predtors.

ANSWER: Dear Gianfraco

If you mean domestic cats, then anything is possible.  Because they are domestic, they are bred by humans, and that means they are subject to our artificial selection.  Under those pressures, a species can change quite dramatically in a relatively short time, since breeders select traits they wish to promote in a breed.

It is not likely cats will evolve into something unrecognizable as a cat.  A breeder might choose to breed bigger cats, cats of a particular color or shape, but they will still be cats.

To fully understand this, I think the best approach is to start with understanding how evolution works.  That would take much more than I could provide in a single email.  But an excellent, fun tutorial can be found here:

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evo_01

Just follow the arrows, and you will be an expert in evolutionary mechanisms in no time!  :)

Hope this helps.

Dana

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I'm asking what will domestic cats be in the future?
Will they evolved to get stamina or become bigger?
This what I'm asking

Answer
Dear Gianfraco

And I answered you.  I said that whether domestic cats evolve will be up to the breeders that select the traits that are passed on.  Cats are really not under natural selection pressure, unless they are feral.  Do those count as domestic?  Sort of.  But if you are asking about *domestic* cats bred by humans, then whether they evolve particular traits will depend upon whether individuals with certain traits are allowed to breed and pass on those traits.

Please read the tutorial I sent you, as it will help you understand the process of evolution.  It is essential that you understand *that* before you can really understand my answer.

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I'm an evolutionary biologist with a passion for animals. Ask about natural history, behavior, ecology, evolution. PLEASE NOTE:

If you have found an "orphaned" or injured wild animal or bird:
Please don't waste time asking questions on the internet, as the answers may come too late. DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL, and DO NOT HANDLE IT unless it is in imminent danger. (Many wild "orphans" are not orphans at all!) If you are absolutely sure it is orphaned, keep it warm and quiet, and find a LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR HERE. Don't try to raise a baby yourself, or rehabilitate an injured anmal. Many a well-intentioned rescuer will do more harm than good, especially with baby birds and baby rabbits.

I.D. OF MYSTERY ANIMALS
Without geographic location, time of day and habitat, I can't help. A clear picture is always best.

I.D. OF MYSTERY ANIMAL SOUNDS
It's impossible for me to I.D. an animal call without hearing it myself.

COMPARATIVE STRENGTHS
I'm not an expert on comparative strengths of different animals (more complicated than you might think!) nor bite forces.

FIGHTING ANIMALS
I refuse to answer "Which of these two animals--X or X--would win in a fight?".

These hypothetical matchups range from impossible (Grizzly Bears and Gorillas don't even occupy the same continent.) to ridiculous (Someone asked me "Who would win a fight between a Great White Shark and a tiger?").

The vast majority of animals--even the fierce and powerful--are not as warlike as Homo sapiens, and it's childish to project our aggressiveness onto them.

Experience

I have been the fortunate caregiver to a group of Black-tailed Jackrabbits rescued from the Miami International Airport, and not releasable in this area because they are not native. I also have rehabbed and released Eastern Cottontails, and am in contact with many very experienced wildlife rescuers who regularly handle injured or orphaned rabbits and hares.

Organizations
House Rabbit Society

Publications
Exotic DVM journal

Education/Credentials
I have a Ph.D. in Biology, with main areas of expertise in evolutionary biology, genetics, botany, and ecology.

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