Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Dieter C.T. Kruska (retired)  


Scientific interests:

  • domestication of animals in general
  • biology of mammals
  • comparative morphology and anatomy of vertebrates
  • phylogenetics and evolution
  • group specific adaptive radiation
  • intraspecific changes due to domestication
  • quantitative proportional bauplan of the body, the skull, and the brain between and within species
  • form and function of the large sensory organs of the head in mammals
  • ontogenesis of brain and behaviour
  • problems of altricial versus precocial ontogenesis
  • morphometries through allometrical methods
  • comparative histology

Membership in scientific societies:

German Society of Mammalogy (DGS) since 1965, honory membership 2005
American Society of Mammalogists (ASM)1976-2005
German Zoological Society (DZG) 1981-2003
Society for Neuroscience (SFN) since 1987; since 2005 emeritus member
International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO) since 1987

Editorial activities:

Editor-in-chief of the international scientific journal Mammalian Biology (formerly: Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde ), Urban und Fischer Verlag, Jena, from 1978 to 2008


Curriculum vitae:

13.12.1939 born in Königsberg / East Prussia, Germany (now Kaliningrad, Russia)

1939-1945 early youth in Masuren, East Prussia, Germany (now Mazury, Poland) in the vicinity of Sensburg (now Mragowo); escape of the family from the region due to World War II; arrival and settlement at Itzehoe, Schleswig-Holstein, North-Germany

1946-1951 elementary school at Itzehoe

1951-1959 gymnasium for boys at Itzehoe

1959-1960 military duty at Tank Artl. Btl. Boostedt

1960-1967 enrolment at the University of Kiel, study of zoology, botany, anthropology, mathematics, chemistry, geography

1967 first examination to become a teacher at German gymnasia in biology and geography

1967-1968 stipendium of the German Research Foundation (DFG) at the Institut für Haustierkunde, University of Kiel (Director: Prof. Dr. Dr. W. HERRE)

1968-1982 Research Associate, Akad. Rat, Akad. O´Rat of the Medical Highschool Hannover at the Institute for Zoology of the Veterinary Highschool Hannover (Director: Prof. Dr. M. RÖHRS); administrative duties, research, teaching

1969 Dissertation thesis and promotion to Dr. rer. nat. at the University of Kiel

1979 Habilitation at the Veterinary Highschool Hannover and Venia legendi for Zoology, appointment as Priv. Doz. Dr. rer. nat. habil.

1981 call for a chair as professor in Zoology, especially of Domestication Research and director of the Institut für Haustierkunde (successor of Prof. Dr. Dr. W. HERRE) at the University of Kiel

1982 acceptance of the call, appointment as Professor and Director of the Institut für Haustierkunde, University of Kiel; since then keeping this position administrating the institute, research on special issues, and teaching zoology for students of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences as well as of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences

2005 april retirement



KRUSKA, D., LANGE, J. (1967): Contribution to the artificial rearing of canid whelps (Canis aureus L., 1758). Zool. Garten (NF) 33: 251–254.

RÖHRS, M., KRUSKA, D. (1969): The influence of domestication on the central nervous system and on the behaviour of the domestic pig. Dtsch. Tierärztl. W`schr. 75: 514–518.

KRUSKA, D. (1970): Comparative cytoarchitectonical investigations in brains of wild and domestic pigs. Z. Anat. Entwickl.-Gesch. 131: 291-324.

KRUSKA, D. (1970): On the evolution of the artiodactylian brain with special reference to the Suina Gray, 1868. Z. Säugetierkunde 35: 214–238.

KRUSKA, D. (1972): Volumetric comparison of some visual centers in the brains of wild boars and domestic pigs. Z. Anat. Entwickl.-Gesch. 138: 265–282.

KRUSKA, D. (1973): Cerebralisation, evolution of the brain and changes in brain size due to domestication within the order Perissodactyla Owen, 1848 and a comparison with the order Artiodactyla Owen, 1848. Z. zool. Syst. Evolut.-forsch. 11: 81-103.

KRUSKA, D. (1973): Size changes of several brain structures in pigs due to domestication. In: MATOLCSI, J. (ed.). Domestication Research and History of Domestic Animals. Akademiai Kiado, Budapest: 135–140.

KRUSKA, D., STEPHAN, H. (1973): Volumetric comparison of allocortical centers in the brains of wild boars and domestic pigs. Acta anat. 84: 387–415.

KRUSKA, D., RÖHRS, M. (1974): Comparative – quantitative investigations on brains of feral pigs from the Galapagos Islands and of European domestic pigs. Z. Anat. Entwickl.-Gesch. 144: 61–73.

KRUSKA, D. (1975): On the postnatal development of the brain of Procyon cancrivorus cancrivorus (Procyonidae; Mammalia). Z. Säugetierkunde 40: 243–256

KRUSKA, D. (1975): Comparative-quantitative investigations on brains of Norway and laboratoy rats. I. Volumetric comparison of total brain and the fundamental brain parts. J. Hirnforsch. 16. 469–483.

KRUSKA, D. (1975): Comparative-quantitative investigations on brains of Norway and laboratory rats. II. Volumetric comparison of allocortical centers in the brain. J. Hirnforsch. 16: 485–496.

SORBE, D., KRUSKA, D. (1975): Comparative allometrical investigations on the skulls of Norway and laboratory rats. Zool. Anz. 195: 124–144.

KRUSKA, D. (1977): On the postnatal development of the brain of the farm mink Mustela vison f. dom. (Mustelidae; Mammalia). Z. Säugetierkunde 42: 240–255.

KRUSKA, D., SCHOTT, U. (1977): Comparative-quantitative investigations on brains of Norway and laboraty rats. III. Volumetric comparison of visual brain centers. J. Hirnforsch. 18: 59–67.

APFELBACH, R., KRUSKA, D. (1979): On the postnatal development of the brain of the ferret Mustela putorius f. furo (Mustelidae; Mammalia). Z. Säugetierkunde 44: 127–131.

KRUSKA, D. (1979): Comparative investigations on skulls of subadult and adult farm mink, Mustela vison f. dom. (Mustelidae; Carnivora). Z. Säugetierkunde 44: 360–375.

KRUSKA, D. (1980): Changes of brain size in mammals due to domestication. Z. zool. Syst. Evolut.-forsch. 18: 161–195.

KRUSKA, D. (1982): Changes of brain size in Tylopoda during phylogeny and caused by domestication. Verh. Dtsch. Zool. Ges. 1982: 173-183.

KRUSKA, D. (1982): On the brain of the pigmy hog, Sus (Porcula) salvanius Hodgson, 1847. A contribution on problems concerning comparative brain investigations in mammals of different body size. Z. zool. Syst. Evolut.-Forsch. 20: 1-12.

KRUSKA, D. (1987): How fast can total brain size change in mammals? J. Hirnforsch. 28: 59-70.

KRUSKA, D. (1987): Something about mink. Schweizer Tierschutz 114: 3–18.

KRUSKA, D. (1988): Mammalian domestication and its effect on brain structure and behavior. In: JERISON, H.J., JERISON, I. (eds.). The Evolutionary Biology of Intelligence. Nato ASI series in Ecology G17. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg: 211-250.

KRUSKA, D. (1988): Effects of domestication on brain structure and behavior in mammals. Human Evolution 3: 473–485.

KRUSKA, D.C.T. (1988): On the brain of the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus). Brain Behav. Evol. 32: 353-363.

KRUSKA, D. (1988): Mustelids. In: KEIENBURG, W. (ed.). Grzimek`s Encyclopedia. Mammals. Bd. 3. Kindler-Verlag, München: 388–447.

KRUSKA, D. (1989): Alteration of mammalian brains effected by captivity?. In: SCHNEIDER, E., OELKE, H., GROSS, H. (eds.). The Illusion of Noah`s Arche. Echo-Verlag, Göttingen: 87-105.

KRUSKA, D. (1990): Mustelids. In: PARKER, S.P. (ed.). Grzimek`s Encyclopedia of Mammals. Vol. 3. MacGraw-Hill, New York: 388–447.

KRUSKA, D. (1990): Effects of the domestication on brain and behaviour of mammals. Wiss. Z. Humboldt-Univ. Berlin, R. Math./Nat. Wiss. 39: 389–393.

PLOGMANN, D., KRUSKA, D. (1990): Volumetric comparison of auditory structures in the brains of European wild boars (Sus scrofa) and domestic pigs (Sus scrofa f. dom.) Brain Behav. Evol. 13: 25-34.

KRUSKA, D. (1993): Evidence of decrease in brain size in ranch mink, Mustela vison f. dom., during subadult postnatal ontogenesis. Brain Behav. Evol. 41: 303-315.

KRUSKA, D. (1996): The effect of domestication on brain size and composition in the mink (Mustela vison). J. Zool. (London) 239: 645-661.

KRUSKA, D., SCHREIBER, A. (1999): Comparative morphometrical and biochemical-genetic investigations in wild and ranch mink (Mustela vison: Carnivora: Mammalia). Acta Theriol. 44: 377-392.

STEFFEN, K., KRUSKA, D., TIEDEMANN, R. (2001): Postnatal brain size decrease, visual performance, learning, and discrimination ability of juvenile and adult American mink (Mustela vison: Carnivora: Mammalia). Mamm. biol. 66: 269-280.

KRUSKA, D.C.T., SIDOROVICH, V.E. (2003): Comparative allometric skull morphometrics in mink (Mustela vison Schreber, 1777) of Canadian and Belarus origin; taxonomic status. Mamm. biol. 68: 257-276.

KRUSKA, D.C.T. (2005): On the evolutionary significance of encephalization in some eutherian mammals: effects of adaptive radiation, domestication, and feralization. Brain Behav. Evol. 65: 73-108.

KRUSKA, D.C.T. (2007): The Effects of Domestication on Brain Size. In: KAAS, J.H., KRUBITZER, L.A. (eds.). Evolution of Nervous Systems. Vol. 3 Mammals. Academic Press, New York: 143-153.

KRUSKA, D.C.T., STEFFEN, K. (2009): Encephalization of Bathyergidae and comparison of brain structure volumes between the Zambian mole-rat Fukomys anselli and the giant mole-rat Fukomys mechowii. Mamm. biol. 74: 298-307.

KRUSKA, D.C.T. (2011): Evolution, Domestikation und Feralisation. Auswirkungen auf das Gehirn bei placentalen Säugetieren. Naturw. Rdsch. 64: 397-408.

KRUSKA, D.C.T.; STEFFEN, K. (2013): Comparative allometric investigations on the skulls of wild cavies (Cavia aperea) versus domesticated guinea pigs (Cavia aperea f. porcellus) with comments on the domestication of this species. Mammal. Biol. 78: 178-186.

KRUSKA, D.C.T. (2014): Comparative Quantitative Investigations on Brains of Wild Cavies (Cavia aperea) and Guinea Pigs (Cavia aperea f. porcellus). A Contribution to Size Changes of CNS Structures due to Domestication. Mamm. Biol. (in press).

History of the "Institut für Haustierkunde" (Institute for Domestication Research):

The establishment and further development of the Institute for Domestication Research in Kiel, a unique zoological institution worldwide, are inseparably connected with the zoologist Prof. Dr.Dr.h.c. WOLF HERRE (1909-1997) as well as with historical events and constellations at the University of Kiel.
The Christian-Albrechts-University was re-opened after World War II on November 27, 1945 in the massively destroyed city of Kiel. The Zoological Institute and Museum at that time belonged to the Philosophical Faculty and since 1935 ADOLF REMANE from Halle/Saale, was chair person. In the early post-war period, A. REMANE could not fulfil his duties actively due to obligations as a substitute Professor of Zoology at the University of Leipzig during the winter of 1944 / 45. Back in Kiel, he was arrested by the allies. However, previous to these events he had appointed the zoology lecturer Dr. phil. WOLF HERRE as assistant curator. In September 1945, W. HERRE replaced A. REMANE and was appointed provisional professor of the Zoological Institute and Museum. Well bestowed with organizational abilities, he, together with the energetic help from his students, rebuilt the institution from ruins in spite of minimal financial support. In 1948, REMANE, upon his return, received from HERRE a functioning institution.
The Agricultural Faculty had already been founded in 1946, enabling students to study agricultural sciences at Kiel University. The lectures in zoology as well as in the anatomy and physiology of domestic animals were given by W. HERRE in addition to his regular duties. At the instigation of the deans of the Philosophical and Agricultural Faculties the Institute for Domestication Research was founded on March 24, 1947 and associated with both faculties, being a bridge institute with obligations both in research and teaching. Having rejected the chair manship of domestication research at the University of Halle, W. HERRE was appointed its director, at first as a university lecturer from March 1, 1951 then chair Professor of Zoology, specifically for Domestication Research. He became a full member of both the Philosophical and the Agricultural Faculty. The foundation of the Institute for Domestication Research fitted well with HERRE’s scientific interests. From 1927 to 1932 he studied zoology at Halle and Graz (Austria) and in 1932 earned his PhD at Halle under the chair professorship of the zoologist Prof. Dr.phil h.c. Dr.agr. h.c. BERTHOLD KLATT (later chair professor of zoology in Hamburg) in Halle. His inauguration (zoology and comparative anatomy) took place in 1935 under the chair professorship of A. REMANE, who, at the time, was still at the University of Halle. HERRE worked as a lecturer at Halle until he was conscripted for military service. When he was released from captivity in Schleswig-Holstein late in the summer of 1945, he came to Kiel looking for employment.
From his early years, HERRE had been interested in basic zoological questions, particularly concerned with the phylogeny and evolutionary diversification of the animal kingdom and in speciation processes. Under the influence of CHARLES DARWIN’s theory of evolution and inspired by the research of B. KLATT and several other zoologists and animal breeders he realized and made use of the possibility of illustrating intraspecific variability, the range of adaptive capacity and the mutability of the animal organism with the help of the diversity of races in domestic animals. The phenomenon of domestication interpreted in the zoological sense and the impact of domestication on human cultural history became HERRE’s central research topics. He and his students conducted a wide variety of studies on stem species of domestic animals, comparisons of the variability of wild and domesticated forms and qualitative and quantitative changes of organs and proportions due to the process of domestication. During his professorship, W. HERRE educated numerous teachers and in total 120 PhD students, among the latter renowned museum and zoo directors, paleozoologists, protozoologists, brain researchers, game biologists and professors of human anatomy, human physiology, and zoology. Research was originally based on comparative anatomical methods, but eventually also on methods of physiology, ethology, and breeding biology. Domestication research , under the tutelage of W. HERRE, underwent a resurrection as a distinct discipline of evolutionary zoology and was thoroughly dealt with by him. The results were documented in the book „Haustiere – zoologisch gesehen“ („Domesticated animals - from the viewpoint of zoology“) by W. HERRE and M. RÖHRS (Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart 1990), the co-author being the former chair person of the Institute for Zoology at the Veterinary Highschool, Hannover. W. HERRE’s achievements led to him being held in high esteem by his colleagues both in Germany and abroad, while W. HERRE himself always kept the institution, in particular his Alma mater, as first priority.
From the very beginning, wolves and dogs were W. HERRE’s favourite animals and study objects. His affectionate interest in live animals prompted him to search for a possibility of maintaining animals in captivity for behavioural studies. He succeeded in having a number of enclosures installed, the so-called „Haustiergarten“ (a small zoo for domestic animals) including a small staff of animal keepers. According to his preference for natural history museums, the Institute for Domestication Research was not only equipped with several laboratories but also with a special dissecting facility employing curators and taxidermists. In this facility, zoological objects are prepared for scientific analysis and included in the institute’s extensive and diversified collections. These collections are still being used by members of the institute staff today. There have also been numerous requests by international scientists for this material. Based on the broad range of zoological interests, archaeozoological questions became another focus of the institute. This discipline deals with animal remains from early human settlements and draws conclusions as to the occurrence of wild and domestic animals and their exploitation. In the beginning, this was only done occasionally by W. HERRE himself and some of his PhD students, but later led to a co-operation with the Institute of Pre- and Protohistory and the Archaeological Museum (“Landesmuseum”) in Gottorf castle / Schleswig, resulting in the foundation of a staffed archaeozoological study group at the Institute for Domestication Research with an exhaustive comparative collection of bones of extant wild and domestic animals, particularly mammals, birds, and fishes. Head of the study group was Dr. HANS REICHSTEIN who retired in 1994 and was followed by Prof. Dr. DIRK HEINRICH (lecturer since 1996/ professor since 2005). Applied research with a predominantly local focus has also been supported and conducted by many staff members. In January 1954 the Avian Conservation Observatory (Staatliche Vogelschutzwarte Schleswig-Holstein) was founded and assigned to the Institute for Domestication Research, in spite of being a Department of the Ministry. Its objectives were the biology, distribution and population dynamics of the avian species in Schleswig-Holstein. For the indigenous mammals, corresponding research began much later – conducted by the externally funded Research Centre for Game Biology.
The Institute for Domestication Research has - parallel to the development of the university in Kiel - seen good and bad times. The former were characterized by appointments of scientists and a general increase in staff numbers. W. HERRE was even able to keep some of his students as assistants, lecturers or in other positions, until their retirement. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. HERWART BOHLKEN (lecturer from 1962-1968, professor since 1968), was particularly interested in comparative anatomy and game biology, but was mainly occupied with administrative and organisational problems, the co-ordination of game biological and ethological projects as well as teaching of general and systematic zoology. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. WOLFHARD SCHULTZ (lecturer from 1970-1974, professor since 1974), well-known for his comparative studies on the mammalian digestive system, became head of the Avian Conservation Observatory and was committed to questions of nature conservation and the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) regarding vertebrates. He had a special interest in the biology of whales and bats, taught extensively in zoology and led many field trips for students. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. EBERHARD HAASE (lecturer from 1972-1975, and since then professor) also stayed at the institute, working in his specialities physiology and endocrinology and also teaching and attending to graduate students. Mrs. Dr. med. vet. DORIT U. FEDDERSEN-PETERSEN (since 1975), who was trained as a veterinarian at the Veterinary Highschool in Hannover, is responsible for the “Haustiergarten”; her research mainly focuses on the ethology of the Canidae.
In 1976, due to a new university law, the institute was incorporated into the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences while the teaching obligations in zoology remained for the students of the Agricultural Faculty.
At the end of the 1977 summer term, W. HERRE retired at the age of 68. Nonetheless, he kept working at the institute and could be seen in his office every day. In March 1997, on the occasion of the institute’s 50th anniversary, the staff members organized a party in his honour. Representatives of the university, politicians, and - most importantly - all his still living pupils were invited. W. HERRE was deeply moved. He died on November 12, 1997 in Frankfurt, suddenly and, being physically and mentally in good condition, unexpectedly, at the age of 88.
It took several years until a successor was appointed Professor of Zoology, specifically for Domestication Research. Negotiations with MANFRED RÖHRS (then professor and director of the Institute for Zoology at the Veterinary Highschool, Hannover) failed as did those with KLAUS IMMELMANN (at the time professor and director of the Institute for Behavioural Research at Bielefeld University). Eventually, on October 22, 1981, after a renewed advertising, Dr. rer. nat. habil. DIETER KRUSKA, lecturer at the Institute for Zoology of the Veterinary Highschool in Hannover, was appointed chair professor and director of the Institute for Domestication Research (starting from October 1, 1982).
In August 1992, W. SCHULTZ passed away. As his successor, a zoologist renowned for molecular genetic studies in zoology, domestication research, and game biology was sought. Prof. Dr. GÜNTHER B. HARTL, lecturer of population genetics at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology at the Veterinary Medicine University in Vienna, was appointed to this position. He has been director and professor of zoology at the Institute for Domestication Research since November 1, 1994.
In 1994, H. BOHLKEN retired, and, in the course of general economy measures, his position, along with others, had to be cancelled. Consequently, research activity became concentrated on the institute’s central scientific issues. The Avian Conservation Observatory became independent of the Institute for Domestication Research, and the Research Centre for Game Biology was no longer sustained.
During its history, the Institute for Domestication Research has been located at different sites in Kiel: from 1947 to 1959 in provisional and temporary quarters of the former Anatomical Institute near the present Zoological Museum at Kiel Fjord; from 1959 to 1982 on two floors of a new building of the Agricultural Faculty at Olshausenstrasse in front of the present parking lot “Alter Haustiergarten”; since 1982 in initially three, then two upper floors of the Biology Centre after staff reduction, with a new zoo for domestic animals next to the new botanical garden.
In March 2005 Prof. Dr. rer. nat. DIETER KRUSKA and Prof. Dr. rer. nat. EBERHARD HAASE retired and the Institute for Domestication Research was closed and the staff members became integrated in the Institute of Zoology.