Monday, July 2, 2007

Domesticated Cats - Lauren

One of many pictures my sister took of Katie Kitty- a sample domesticated cat.

Cats Among Us

This New York Times editorial mentions how cat mitochondrial DNA has been used to determine the ancestry of domesticated cats. The results? Felis silvestris lybica, otherwise known as the Near Eastern wildcat, is the ancestor of all domesticated cats. Archaeological evidence indicates that domestication occurred in Cyprus around 9500 years ago, before cats lived in Egypt.

The editorial also states that, as any cat owner knows, the cats, not the humans, are in charge.

A day after posting that, I found another New York Times article, that describes the study on cat ancestry more in depth. All domestic cats are descended from 5 female Felis silvestris lybica who entered human villages and ate the rodents infesting granaries.

Here is a photo of a wildcat from the article:

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