part 2 of: Evolution of Rockfolk

the world i'm writing a sub-species of my Rockfolk have been Domesticated by humans becoming Golems, and are commonly use as a type guard dog or for field labor. some basic characteristics of these Rockfolk include:

  • have extremely sensitive skin, and are completely hairless
  • are fairly slow
  • are bipedal
  • have a average lifespan of 40 years
  • reach sexual maturity at five to six years old, and have a gestation period of 9 months
  • coat themselves with rocks (applying them with mud or wet clay)
  • are 8 feet in height
  • are herbivores
  • have proportionally longer arms
  • live in small, tightly knit tropes which they are extremely loyal to
  • have rhino level vision, a decent sense of smell and elephant level hearing
  • are quite bulky with gorilla level strength
  • are smarter than a rhino

Given these characteristics, could Humans (or any other intelligent hominid) domesticate these Rockfolk, with at most medieval level technology?

  • $\begingroup$ I think the main question you have to ask is "how old are these golems when they reach sexual maturity?". the shorter the timespan between birth and being able to birth more of themselves, increases the likelihood of another species having the patience to take the time to go throught the domestication process (which takes generations)...check out the famous fox domestication experiment for more ideas. $\endgroup$ – EveryBitHelps Aug 1 '20 at 17:41
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    $\begingroup$ @EveryBitHelps realistically i would assume that undomesticated Golems reach sexual maturity around a similar time to other undomesticated large animals like hippos, bears, and rhinos $\endgroup$ – icewar1908 Aug 2 '20 at 1:01
  • $\begingroup$ @EveryBitHelps humans can live up to 120 years with an average of 83 when unhealthy. yet humans reach fertility at around 11 or 12 years old. that's why federal law of consent is 12 in America. $\endgroup$ – user77496 Aug 2 '20 at 8:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Qesrie. Lol. I think you missed my point. The longer it takes for a species to start pushing out more younglings, the longer it will take to domesticate. Say it takes 6 generations to start getting the traits you want. If it takes 11-12 yrs to start pushing out humans, then it would take another species at least 60yrs to start to domesticate us. If it only takes 1-2 yrs till maturity, it'll be 10-15 yrs to start domestication. Unless you have a group willing to make a long term commitment to stick to a breeding plan, shorter maturity ages are easier to work with while domesticating. $\endgroup$ – EveryBitHelps Aug 2 '20 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ Rather than answer, let me direct you to my answer about domesticating Hippos. The basic solution is the same. It take time, patience, and band-aids. $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 3 '20 at 4:22

Sure. Selective breeding has been around for a very very long time. At 6 years to sexual maturity, it might take a long time to get the traits they want really nailed-down, but if the rock folk had some other purpose (maybe they're delicious when cooked, or they have a knack for finding good rocks, or something else) then some family of farmers would find a way to keep them caged up and breed them for several generations. The first farmer to capture them might have struggled a lot, but by the time his great great grandchildren inherit the farm, they could reasonably have selectively bred-out much of any natural aggression toward humans, and having done so they may as well be able to teach that aggression back into the creatures as-needed.

Breeding out other natural tendencies and preferences takes much much longer. For example, domesticated foxes are still very unruly, and they don't desire human affection the way dogs do. They are playful and they aren't afraid of people, but they aren't really interested in people all that much either. They still act like foxes. Horses are a similar situation -- they have been domesticated for millennia, but they aren't affectionate like dogs, or clever cats; they still act like horses.


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