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Questions tagged [animals]

For questions about historical practices or events related to non-human animals, including their use by humans, breeding, domestication, hunting, or consumption.

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Was slaughtering cows in Kamchatka prohibited in the 1820s?

In To the Pacific and Arctic with Beechey: The Journal of Lieutenant George Peard of HMS Blossom, 1825–1828, Peard claims that in Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka, "nearly every family possesses a Cow (...
2
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0answers
78 views

What did Boston shoemakers do with cattle brands?

In the Mexican era, whole cattle hides were California's principal export. To prevent theft law enforcement sometimes checked the brands on hides before they were exported by sailing ship. Most went ...
10
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2answers
385 views

How widespread was the consumption of rabbit meat by the poor in Medieval and Early-Modern Britain?

The Romans raised rabbits as livestock in Spain in the 2nd century BC and later brought them to Britain. French monks are believed to have domesticated them in the 5th century AD for their meat and ...
12
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3answers
672 views

How extensive and developed was the ancient Kushite (Nubian) horse trade?

In 1997 there was a fascinating paper published called The Horses of Kush by Lisa A. Heidorn in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies which summarized some finds about the popularity of horses from Kush ...
4
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3answers
201 views

Six bulls for ship's provisions

The Ortega family at Rancho Refugio did a brisk business in clandestine trade with visiting ships. According to Katherine Plummer, in March of 1815, the Forester stopped there and loaded firewood, ...
5
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1answer
126 views

Was the Seven Years’ War the first time dogs were used to carry messages?

The use of messenger dogs during World War I by both sides is well-attested to, but they were also used by Frederick the Great during the Seven Years’ War. Wikipedia says he is reportedly the first ...
11
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1answer
385 views

Were groups (or 'companies') of dogs used to attack enemy armies in medieval battles?

In Dogs in warfare and The Dogs of War, a number of examples are given where dogs were used in battle in ancient times. Polyaenus, in ‘Stratagems’, also gives a clear example (late 7th century BC): ...
4
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6answers
404 views

What was the largest place to be named after a specific, individual animal (i.e. not a species)?

Not so many individual, non-human animals have been immortalized in place names. Often those were about animals known only as remains, as in Dead Horse Glen, but some living animals, named or unnamed, ...
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0answers
64 views

Spanish colonial cattle ranching cultures

Many Iberian colonists in the viceroyalties of New Spain (Mexico) and La Plata (Argentina) practiced cattle ranching. Both sides practiced branding and rode horses to control their herds. Many of the ...
11
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1answer
510 views

When did Aurochs (large wild cattle) become extinct in Britain?

Estimated to average around 150cm (cows) and 170cm (bulls) at the shoulder, the aurochs was an important animal to humans, during prehistory when it was widely hunted, and in some areas also ...
2
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0answers
233 views

When was the last bull & bear fight in California?

In 1700s and 1800s California, a popular form of entertainment was a fight to the death between a bull and a grizzly bear, either tied together or tied to a post. (This practice may have been Horace ...
3
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3answers
425 views

What was the reason for the ubiquitous pigeon farms in Soviet cities?

They were in just any district.
6
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1answer
712 views

Did the ancient Egyptians dress living cats in jewelry?

Ancient Egyptians worshiped animals, and cats were one of the most popular objects of said worship. I know that they would dress up cat statues in jewelry, but did they dress their cats in jewelry ...
4
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3answers
727 views

How did horses become animals of fancy while donkeys largely didn't?

Horses seem to be a much more common sight in so-called "developed" (or rather "heavily mechanized") countries than donkeys are while the latter seem to be still quite popular in many "developing" ...
1
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1answer
80 views

How many cattle were slaughtered in Alta California?

Spanish and Mexican Alta California was a primarily cattle-based economy. The wealth of ranchers was measured in the size of their herd. Beef, manteca, and leather were used liberally, and hide and ...
4
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1answer
366 views

What is the source for the Arabic name of the penguin and when it is first used?

During Vasco da Gama's trip to the south of Africa, they discovered birds never seen by European eyes before which became named as penguins in most of the European languages. But in the Arabic ...
8
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0answers
156 views

Are there any references to entombed animals in Ancient India?

The 13th century Hindu philosopher Arulnandi Shivacharya wrote a work called the Shiva Jnana Siddhiyar, which among other things contains a refutation of Buddhist philosophy. In this excerpt, various ...
3
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1answer
187 views

What were whale brains used for?

In 1818 the Chief Manager of the Russian-American Company, Hagemeister, wrote to his subordinate manager Potorochin: When sperm whales are cast up try to collect the teeth. Send the brains here in ...
-3
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4answers
253 views

How does the cost-benefit relationship of owning a horse differ today from the Middle Ages or Early Industrial Revolution?

If I were to be gifted a horse nowadays, I would've been angry. I would have to spend a lot of money in its food, in a blacksmith for horseshoes, grooming, cleaning his box, the rent of his box, extra ...
2
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0answers
981 views

What kind of bird is Horus? [closed]

Recently I was reading Brugsch's History of Egypt and he describes the figure of Horus as being that of a "sparrowhawk". Now, I have the greatest respect for Brugsch and consider him the best ...
1
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0answers
76 views

Is the rise of domestication somehow connected to the rise of agriculture? [closed]

I have read in Homo Adaptabilis that the first domesticated animals were wolves captured by nomadic tribes. These tribes then used the wolves as hunting partners. The prey they hunted were deer, much ...
8
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1answer
257 views

Bears on Bicycles - What are early examples of photographs or paintings showing bicycles used with animals in circus acts?

Bicycles became popular during the early to mid-nineteenth-century. Around the same time, Isaac A. Van Amburgh was active as the first circus wild animal trainer. When did the practice of training ...
6
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1answer
204 views

What did the Scott expedition feed their ponies?

During Robert Scott's British Antarctic Expedition (1910-1913), they used ponies in many cases to haul supplies across the ice. What exactly did the ponies eat? I've found many references to the ...
2
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4answers
596 views

When did the earliest documented cases of beaching of ocean-dwelling animals (fishes, whales, etc) happen?

I was looking into possible effects from toxic chemicals introduced in the industry and to what degree these may be a factor in the beaching of whales and other ocean dwelling animals. So with this ...
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0answers
123 views

What are the origins of coursing with cheetahs? [closed]

And is there evidence of coursing with other big cats(snow leopard, Persian leopard, Asiatic lion, Caspian tiger or Eurasian lynx) in Asian history? Also were they trained to ride on a horse with ...
6
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2answers
255 views

Cattle handling in the 19th century

In the largest cattle raising countries - Australia and the USA, huge free ranging herds were kept. Nowadays, we use yards and crushes for husbandry activities such as drafting and calf marking (...
6
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2answers
411 views

Did civilian cold war bunkers plan for inclusion of family pets?

At the height of the Cold War, total extermination was considered a possibility. In which case any beloved domestic pets like dogs and cats would presumably die unless included in the civilian bunker ...
6
votes
1answer
786 views

When were domesticated animals tethered on a pole with a rope?

Domestication of plants and animals are thought to have happened during the neolithic period, roughly between 13000-7000 years ago. Now I'm interested of the history of using rope and central pole to ...
-5
votes
1answer
207 views

Horses.. goats… evolution [closed]

I am not sure if this is the right place for this question, but under the StackExchange umbrella I think its best I ask it here. After watching shows like Game Of Thrones, Vikings, Spartans etc. I ...
9
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4answers
8k views

How common were horses at the beginning of the 20th century?

From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, in North America and Australia, how common were horses? Was it easy for every man or boy to own a decent riding horse, or were they relatively expensive and ...
9
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2answers
1k views

What happened to sacrificed animals in ancient Greece?

I was wondering, what happened to animals that were sacrificed in the ancient Greece. For instance, when Pythagoras created his theorem he made a 100 oxen sacrifice. Was the sacrifice considered a ...
10
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1answer
3k views

How were dogs used in WW1

I know that dogs were used in WW1. I know that they weren’t vital, but didn’t play a reasonable role in helping the soldiers in the trenches. However, there is one thing that confuses me: How were ...
4
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1answer
371 views

Is there a link between the Easter rabbits and the Yaknehaz rabbits?

It came to my attention this Passover that old German Haggadahs (books used at the Passover ceremonial meal) often featured an illustration of a rabbit hunt, or of just a rabbit, to serve as a ...
5
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1answer
1k views

When did the incident happen when bounty on rats led people to farm rats?

Sorry for the title but don't know how to phrase it exactly. I once read an article about a period (in France I think but I'm not sure) when the cities were growing and people strted to have issues ...
7
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1answer
3k views

How were war elephants used against cavalry?

In this question: How do war elephants fight? it was mentioned that horses tend to dislike elephants, so they are effective against cavalry. How does this work in practice? I don't imagine it would be ...
10
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2answers
983 views

Animal “blood lust”

I remember reading in some older books about ancient combat that animals would sometimes get "into the fight" so to speak. For lack of a better term, this was evidenced by horses actually attacking (...
14
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3answers
3k views

What is the origin of the rampant lion herald?

We often see the image of the rampant lion used as a symbol in heraldry and other places. I understand the significance of the lion, and I am aware that ancient art often incorporated the lion, but ...
9
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1answer
2k views

How do war elephants fight?

Do they just run breaking phalanx? Do they pull their front food and then crush enemies below? What do elephants do? Or are the fighters on top of it just shoot arrows?
7
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2answers
905 views

How much armor did elephant units wear?

I often hear stories about enemies defeating elephant riders by axing the legs of the elephants. Does this mean that the commander of the elephant army did not put enough armor on the elephants' legs?...
16
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1answer
1k views

How frequently were homing pigeons used in the World Wars?

It seems that the strategic weight of specially bred pigeons is much higher than I thought at first, based on the number of pigeons used and the effort to stop them. (In WW2 Germans even trained ...