A recent study from researchers shows that the mighty Vikings were fond of cats. Modern day scientists discovered that the delicate felines were part of the crew, which means that they were early domesticated. The researchers presented their study at the International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology, which was held in the United Kingdom.
The new research shows that Viking cats were around and made history along with their fierce owners. Specialists studied ancient samples of DNA in order to determine the existence of cats on the Viking ships. The fact is also explained by the importance of cats in the mythology of Northern peoples.
The scientists analyzed DNA samples from more than two hundred cats. The felines share approximately ninety-five percent of their DNA with wild cats, such as tigers. The samples dated from thousands and thousands of years ago and proved that cats rapidly spread in several corners of the world as agriculture and travel gained popularity.
According to the experts who led the research, there were two important phases in the process of spreading of domesticated cats. This is how they got in several countries across Europe, Africa, and Asia in the early times of civilization. The new findings report no less than thirty such places. Researchers followed the cats’ history up until the eighteenth century.
The researcher’s study points out that people kept cats around their household for practical purposes. The development of agriculture brought fruitful crops, which attracted rodents. It is here where cats come into action, and prevent pest invasions. Their efficiency gained them a special treatment from humans, who kept their habit of raising cats.
It is most likely that the Viking cats had the same mission on ships. Except keeping company to the crew, the frisky felines were in charge of the eradication of mice.
The scientists were able to gather an impressive amount of information based only on genetic analyses. This means that they had to study cat mummies originating from different countries of the world. They didn’t only found out about the animal’s spreading and evolution, but also about anomalies and diseases that might have affected them.
Experts intend to carry on with their investigation on cats and their spreading in different parts of the world. However, in order to do so, they need additional money.
Do you appreciate your pet cat more now, that you now it is descendant of the mighty Viking cats?
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia