Domestic or wild? – An information nest


Between wild animals, domestic animals, the difference is not always simple… Here is an article by Mathilde Le Covec from Dinosaurs with feathers which clearly explains how to differentiate these two categories.

Wild, domestic, tame, feral… What about the animals that share our life? Not always easy to navigate!

I will explain to you what it is here.

Wild species

The majority of species that inhabit our planet are wild. Wild animals correspond to the original populations of the animals which we will discuss later.

The wolf is a wild animal.

Domestic species

Some wild species have been domesticated by humans. In other words, the human being has selected certain individuals with particular traits. Then he got them facts to reproduce between them so that these characteristics can be generalized: this is called the domestication. This process is therefore carried out on several generations. Individuals of a species are considered to be domesticated when they exhibit different characteristics and genetic makeup from those of their counterparts in nature.

The chihuahua is an animal resulting from the domestication of the wolf.

The feral species

It happens that some domestic animals return to the wild. They can reproduce with each other and form a population that will have different characteristics from that of the species that was originally domesticated. They then form a species feral. We also talk about animals chestnuts.

Tamed individuals

Some captive animals are wild : their genetic background is the same in cages and in nature. This is particularly the case with parrots. Although not domesticated, these animals can be very familiar to humans. They were tamed. Unlike domestication, taming does not take place over generations. A tamed animal will have acquired this familiarity with humans during its life.. He will not be able to transmit this characteristic genetically.

Parrots are wild animals. Some of them are however tame, and can cohabit with the human being.

In short


Original population


Differences from the wild population

Multi-generation process


Differences from the base wild population

Difference with the domestic population

Multi-generation process

* Tame

No differences with the wild population

Learning at the level of individual development

*For further*

Are the animals that share our life domestic or wild? And is a wild animal necessarily unhappy in captivity? Some answers on video!


Mathilde Le Covec, May 3, 2021, Le blog de Dinosaures à Plumes, article consulted on May 8, 2021, available online: -134

Photo credits:

Mohamed hassan

Kevin phillips



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