Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The house mouse has been hanging around humans for far longer than we thought.

By studying the fluctuations of house mouse fossils found in archaeological sites in the eastern Mediterranean, scientists have revealed that Mus musculus domesticus first cozied up to humans around 15,000 years ago. That would be about 3,000 years before the advent of agriculture.
 The findings offer an unusual glimpse into a murky period of human development, since the abundance of house mice teeth seems to track with our nomadic ancestors’ early experiments in settling down.
 That makes the new study “a nice example of how house mouse research can be helpful for studying our own history,” says MiloŇ° Machol√°n, an evolutionary biologist and co-author of The Evolution of the House Mouse.
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