Международной группой исследователей, представленной учеными из Франции, Бельгии, Испании Германии, Болгарии и США, были определены регионы, где произошло одомашнивание кошек. Об этом сообщает портал The Globe And Mail, ссылаясь на исследование, опубликованное в журнале Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Для того, чтобы сделать заключению по возникновению и распространению популяций, авторами были проанализированы ДНК более двухсот кошек, ранее и ныне обитающих по обширным территориям от Румынии до Анголы. Были взяты ДНК как современных представителей животных, так и тех, кто обитал на Земле 9 000 лет назад в Европе, Африке и Азии. Были также подвергнуты исследованию мумии кошек из древних египетских захоронений. Был также изучен кот, которого нашли захороненным вместе с человеком примерно 9500 лет назад на Кипре, что не характерно для острова, на котором не существовало какого-либо коренного населения кошачьих.

Ученые считают, что одомашнивание кошки началось около 10 000 лет назад, когда люди поселились в плодородном регионе, включающим в себя восточные побережья Средиземного моря и территории вокруг реки Тигр и Евфрат, они заинтересовались кошками, которые отпугивали грызунов, которых привлекало хранившееся зерно.

Но, в целом процесс приручения кошек ученым сложно отслеживать, отчасти потому, что по ископаемым скелетам не выявить, был ли кот диким или домашним.

Как полагают специалисты, предки современной кошки практически одновременно появились в двух регионах, и затем уже стали распространяться по планете. Так, первая популяция кошек, которая возникла в Юго-Восточной Азии, а в 4400 году до нашей эры уже обитала и в Европе. Вторая популяция животных, возникшая в Древнем Египте, своему распространению обязана торговым путям, которые вели к Средиземному морю.

Первые кошки появились в Болгарии более 6000 лет назад, в Румынии более 5000 лет назад, и около 3000 лет назад в Греции.

Множество кошачьих пород появились уже в Европе, когда кошки из разных популяций смешивались между собой. Так, например, ученые смогли доказать, что кошки с полосатой раскраской появились только в Средние века, благодаря мутации.


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