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Role of Near East and Egypt in Cat Domestication

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Cats Domesticated Themselves, Ancient DNA Shows

National Geographic, June 19,2017



Ancient DNA reveals role of Near East and Egypt

in cat domestication, KU Leuven, June 19, 2017




"DNA found at archaeological sites reveals that the

origins of our domestic cat are in the Near East and

ancient Egypt. Cats were domesticated by the first

farmers some 10,000 years ago. They later spread

across Europe and other parts of the world via

 trade hub Egypt. The DNA analysis also revealed

that most of these ancient cats had stripes: spotted

cats were uncommon until the Middle Ages."


the paper is:


Claudio Ottoni, Wim Van Neer, Bea De Cupere, Julien

Daligault, Silvia Guimaraes, Joris Peters, Nikolai Spassov,

Mary E. Prendergast, Nicole Boivin, Arturo Morales-Muñiz,

Adrian Bălăşescu, Cornelia Becker, Norbert Benecke,

Adina Boroneant, Hijlke Buitenhuis, Jwana Chahoud,

Alison Crowther, Laura Llorente, Nina Manaseryan,

Hervé Monchot, Vedat Onar, Marta Osypińska, Olivier

Putelat, Eréndira M. Quintana Morales, Jacqueline Studer,

Ursula Wierer, Ronny Decorte, Thierry Grange, Eva-Maria

Geigl. The palaeogenetics of cat dispersal in the ancient

world. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2017; 1 (7): 0139

DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0139

Online archive: http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2016/10/09/080028

PDF file: http://biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2016/10/09/080028.full.pdf




Paul H.

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As a cat-minder (who OWNS a cat, really?), I can attest to this!


Apparently, even their behaviour is suspect, particularly in terms of meowing: https://www.livescience.com/5556-cats-control-humans-study-finds.html


Generally, the function of a cat's meow was linked to their infancy and serves no purpose in later life if they were wild. I am a sucker for a cat's meow... except that very plaintive announcing meow in the middle of the night when my little hunter comes back with a mouse/vole/chipmunk/rabbit! 

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