Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Domestication of Cattle, 10,500 Years Ago

According to a recent genetic study, all modern cattle, everywhere in the world, descend from fewer than 100 wild cattle domesticated in the Middle East about 10,500 years ago. This might mean that cattle were only domesticated once, by a handful of very brave and stubborn people -- wild cattle were very big and scary -- but then again it might mean that cattle were domesticated several times but one strain had some genetic quirk that made them especially suited for domestic life, so that they eventually replaced all the others.

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