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Breaking news from the Fertile Crescent

June 29, 2009

The origin of the domestic cat coincides with the establishment of the Middle East. Unlike its human bakhlava-eating co-inhabitant, however, the cat has lost its ability to enjoy sweet carbohydrates.

‘Because cats are not native to most Mediterranean islands, we know that people must have brought them over by boat, probably from the adjacent Levantine coast. Together the transport of cats to the island and the burial of the human with a cat indicate that people had a special, intentional relationship with cats nearly 10,000 years ago in the Middle East. This locale is consistent with the geographic origin we arrived at through our genetic analyses.’ (from Rajiv)

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