Mysterious Origins of Cat Domestication in China io9
... villages to feed on rodents, which were stealing farmers' grains. The research shows, for the first time, how the process of cat domestication started.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
NEWSLINK: Cat Domestication Traced to Chinese Farmers 5,300 Years Ago
Dec. 16, 2013 — Five-thousand years before it was immortalized in a British nursery rhyme, the cat that caught the rat that ate the malt was doing just fine living alongside farmers in the ancient Chinese village of Quanhucun, a forthcoming study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has confirmed.
"At least three different lines of scientific inquiry allow us to tell a story about cat domestication that is reminiscent of the old 'house that Jack built' nursery rhyme," said study co-author Fiona Marshall, PhD, a professor of archaeology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
"Our data suggest that cats were attracted to ancient farming villages by small animals, such as rodents that were living on the grain that the farmers grew, ate and stored."
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