DNA study suggests migration patterns of ancient felines
If you’ve ever wondered how the domesticated cat came to be that way, a new DNA study offers some insights.
Researchers from the Institute Jacques Monod in Paris sequenced mitochondrial DNA from 200 cat remains in 30 archeological sites in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and concluded that wild cats most likely traveled with early farmers from the Middle East into the eastern Mediterranean, reported Nature on Sept. 20.
The study results were presented at the 7th International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology in Oxford in the United Kingdom on Sept. 15.
The samples analyzed dated from the Mesolithic period, during the hunter-gatherer period, up to the 18th century, according to Nature, and came in two waves. Middle Eastern wild cats expanded with early farming communities, and thousands of years later, spread into Eurasia and Africa from Egypt.
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