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Old bones provides surprising knowledge of the cat

Many cat owners might have the feeling that their furry creature hides a secret or two.

By digging through bags of animal bones dating back to the late bronze age is succeeded Danish researchers to arrive at new knowledge about the cat.

Since the first tamkatte was introduced in Denmark, they have been 16 percent greater.

It shows a study from the University of Copenhagen published in Danish Journal of Archaeology.

It puzzled us, as we looked at the bones, to both the skeletdelene in the body had been greater, and that the jaws and the teeth at the same time had been a little larger, say Anne Birgitte tooth wear, external associate professor at the Natural history Museum and co-author of the study.

- Usually, jaws and teeth, what we call conservative skeleton remains, which did not grow. But the parts has steadily grown since the middle ages and up through modern times, she explains.

part of the explanation is probably that tamkatten over time have been greater because of the better fødetilgængelighed, explains tooth wear.

But some of the explanation is probably also stored in the genes. Therefore, there is a need for more research in the area.

- Even if you do not know exactly when the last wildcats becoming extinct, and when the first tamkatte really come into Denmark, says the researcher.

- the Cat is one of the domesticated animals, similar to the wild form the most, while the dog, for example, in the appearance is very far from its wild form, which is the wolf. The transition to tamkat is still connected with many unanswered questions.

The kind of overview of the katteknogler, as the study provides, is supposedly one of the first of its kind.

While the first signs of tamkatte in the world comes from a nearly 10,000-year-old grave in Cyprus, you are at least sure that there were Danish tamkatte from around the year 200 after Christ's birth - that is, in the iron age.

Subsequently, among others, the vikings kept cats because of their warm fur and to hunt disease-carrying rats.

In all, the researchers examined bones from before the turn of the millennium and up to the end of the 1600s and compared with newer katteknogler from 1870 and forward.

the Majority of the measurement and the analytical work was done by then-undergraduate student Julie Bitz-Thorsen, Anne Birgitte tooth wear has written the study together with.

- Some katteknogler was pretty easy to find for Julie, because they were sorted by species. Other times she had to go through many bags and boxes to find the relevant bones among the many different animal bones from horses, dogs and cows, which we have, say tooth wear.

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