Hello, you beautiful minds. Let’s take some brain candy, shall we? So put down your game controls for a brief yet splendid moment, and stuff your brain with tasty tidbits of information.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wild vs. Feral

By now you have probably realized that I am a stickler for correct terminology. Today’s subject will be dedicated to the difference between the terms “wild” and “feral.” We tend to use them interchangeably, with a certain preference for “wild” when describing things like mustangs (“wild” horses), dromedary camels (“wild” camels), and Courtney Love (“wild” child). None of these things are technically wild. Real wild things have never gone through domestication by humans. When something that has been domesticated is subsequently released or escapes from captivity, it and its descendants are feral. Feral animals (as in the case of pigeons and Courtney Love) are often considered pests. In some instances (as with mustangs), however, this labeling is unjustified as feral animals often take the ecological place left by their extinct or endangered wild counterparts. Let’s start with the dictionary definition of both words as shown on dictionary.com:

1.      living in a state of nature; not tamed or domesticated: a wild animal; wild geese.

2.      having reverted to the wild state, as from domestication: a pack of feral dogs roaming the woods.

Now it’s time for some fun examples!

Przewalski horse


Bactrian camel

Dromedary camel

African wild dog

Feral dog

Scottish wild cat

Feral cat

Mourning dove


Taylor from “Planet of the Apes”

Kurt Cobain

1 comment:

  1. Doves are cuter than pigeons. That picture of Taylor, I think, especially displays his wild nature. Good job!