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Models of turkey use

Research Achievements

Models of turkey use

Trainee R. Kyle Bocinsky developed models of turkey use and domestication in the Pueblo Southwest. He outlined contrasting expectations for keeping turkey for meat, or using them ritually. He modeled turkey domestication as a resilience trap (the Avicultural Trap) making the Pueblo subsistence system increasingly rigid and narrow while allowing explosive population growth. He described how a feedback loop between turkey and maize yields, amplified human population growth to the point where Pueblo peoples were unable to respond to climate-induced reductions in maize yields. Finally, he focused on domestication as food production and implemented turkey domestication in the Village Ecodynamics Project simulation, generating further expectations including the prediction that domestication spread outwards from the most agriculturally productive areas. Turkey is the only North American faunal food domesticate, and this research contributes to our understanding of its use and domestication.