Photo: House Cat Origin Traced to Middle Eastern Wildcat Ancestor



The Near Eastern wildcat began tagging along with humans on their journeys 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, according to a new study.

Researchers pinpointed the ancestor of domestic cats by comparing DNA of several wildcat subspecies, including a type of European wildcat pictured above.

The map shows the historic distribution of the five species of related wildcats, including the Near Eastern wildcat, F.s. lybica.

Top photograph courtesy Ewan Macdonald, bottom map courtesy Science.


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