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Mon Jun 19, 2017, 02:36 PM

Africats to the Purr-ymids: DNA study reveals long tale of cat domestication

Source: The Guardian

The untold story of how cats came in from the wild to commandeer the finest armchairs and win over the internet has been laid bare by a comprehensive analysis of ancient feline DNA.

Drawing on genetic material from mummified cats in Egypt, and remains from Viking graveyards and stone age sites, researchers pieced together how cats first came to live with humans and ultimately spread around the world as their companions.

Scientists extracted DNA from the bones, teeth, hair and skin of more than 200 long-dead animals found at sites in the Near East, Africa and Europe. The material shows that all tamed cats today descend from the African wildcat or Felis silvestris lybica, a subspecies found in North Africa and the Near East.

Having established the root of our relationship with cats, the scientists found that the path to domestication probably began when early farmers in the Near East began to stockpile grain about 9,000 years ago. From that moment on, there was no looking back.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jun/19/africats-to-the-purr-ymids-dna-study-reveals-long-tale-of-cat-domestication


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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 02:50 PM

1. Ridiculous. Cats were never domesticated.

They just moved in, taught how to take care of them, and never left.

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Response to gtar100 (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 02:57 PM

3. Ridiculous, they domesticated us and taught us how to grow grain to attract mice

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Response to gtar100 (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 03:06 PM

5. Cats have staff, dogs have pals.


I like both. I'm more staff than pal.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 07:08 PM

14. Or.....Dogs have masters,

but Cats have slaves.

Ain't it the truth!

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Response to gtar100 (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 03:48 PM

7. Good take on it.

Plus they're the only species that doesn't have to be taught to like us. Feral adults are often affectionate to humans in their territory, although they'll rarely turn into lap fungus.

I have a feeling that cats turned up whenever hunter-gatherers would come though, eating scraps and the rodents those scraps attracted. They didn't move in with us until we became settled because cats are extremely territorial critters. Anyone who has traveled with cats knows they don't travel all that well, although they did fine on shipboard where there were plenty of rodents to eat.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 03:54 PM

9. Cats were mainly outdoor animals before kitty litter was invented in the 20th century.

I have 4 cats. They go through a lot of litter!

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 02:54 PM

2. My favorite read-aloud story is Kipling's The Cat Who Walked by Himself...

Oh, best beloved.

It all makes sense. With grain storage, comes mice and rats, and the need for pest exterminators. Enter cats.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 05:17 PM

12. I like that one, too.

Along with "Mr. Dog, the dog who belonged to himself"

And "Scat Cat"

And the "Story of the 14 bears"

Read them to generations of children and grandchildren (and now great grandchildren).

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 02:57 PM

4. The Lion in the Living Room

Finished this book a few months ago, it was interesting, but a little bit heavy on the science for me. The author talked about some of the evolution of the relationship between humans and cats.


Peace

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Response to hibbing (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 03:08 PM

6. I watched that doco on Netfix

pretty cool stuff...it explained to me how my cat was able to depart from my window which was opened JUST A WEE BIT: they have floating shoulder bones (I can't remember the exact name) and can flatten themselves

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Response to hibbing (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 03:52 PM

8. That is a good book, but I like "The Tribe of Tiger" even better. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 04:25 PM

10. I'll look for it, thanks!

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Response to hibbing (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 04:40 PM

11. You might like the National Geographic documentary from, I think, the 1970s or 1980s called

"Caressing the Tiger." Here is Part 1:

https://m.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 06:44 PM

13. Cats have been planning their world domination for a long time

And if cat worship is any indicator, they have succeeded. I'm talking about CURRENT cat worship, not the Egyptian kind.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Mon Jun 19, 2017, 08:46 PM

15. lovely little video

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