Cat fossils found in China offer hints at how they were first domesticated

Dec 17, 2013
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If you have ever owned a cat, you know that they have an incredible independent streak and often do what they want, when they want no matter what their humans want. This independent streak in cats has left scientists wondering for a long time exactly how cats were first domesticated. A recent discovery of cat fossils in China sheds some light on how cats first came to be domesticated.

The fossils were discovered in a Stone Age village in China and are estimated to be 5300 years old. The fossils show that domesticated cats lived alongside human communities earlier than previously believed. The scientists think that the discovery sheds some light on how the cat came to be domesticated in the first place.

The scientists say that cats were the animals of farmers. Researchers discovered the remains of a human that they believe was of a high rank that was buried with a feline suggesting a relationship between the human and the cat at a site in Cyprus dated to 9500 years ago.

The scientists say that a number of ancient rodent burrows leading to the grain pits at the Quanhucan site suggests that rodent control is one major reason why the humans allowed cats to stay around. One of the cat fossils found had extremely worn teeth suggesting it was very old and villagers might have cared for it in old age. Studies are ongoing, but the researchers believe the first domesticated cats in the area are linked to the modern Near Eastern Wildcat that can be found in North Africa today.

SOURCE: Latin Post


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