Sunday, September 25, 2016

New Evidence That Cats Sailed With Vikings

By Samantha Cole 

Wikimedia Commons
The Norse goddess Freyja hitched cats to her carriage. Vikings likely followed her lead, putting cats on ships.
   Vikings were hardy people who valued self-reliance and strength of will. But that doesn't mean they were immune to the lure of feline companionship. A new study on cat DNA and linage shows that as well as ruling in Egypt and the Mediterranean, cats were welcomed aboard Viking ships.
   Eva-Maria Geigl, an evolutionary geneticist at the Institut Jacques Monod in Paris, and colleagues Claudio Ottoni and Thierry Grange presented their work, the first large-scale study of ancient cat DNA, at the 7th International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology in Oxford, UK on September 15. They sequenced the DNA of more than 200 cats that lived between 15,000 years ago and eighteenth century AD...


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