Researchers at Otago University, New Zealand, have just published their findings in the international scientific journal 'Science Report ', saying they have investigated DNA taken from archaeological specimens of mouse discovered the trace that 10,000 years ago, this animal was hunted in the wild for food, gradually tamed and became a favorite pet or to be a medical experiment. learn.
Many years ago, Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith, an anthropologist, studied the DNA of the creatures that Pacific settlers carried on their migrating boats and her. Using this DNA as a standard to identify the origin of the inhabitants as well as to track their migration around the Pacific region.
Today, the white mice that have been tamed by people in the Andes, now Peru.
Acquiring the research results of Professor Matisoo-Smith, other scientists around the world have investigated the origin of guinea pigs, where did they come to the islands in the Caribbean.
According to Professor Matisoo-Smith, white guinea pigs are now domesticated by people in the Andes, now Peru. Not only are they an important source of food, they are used in religious ceremonies and then transported and traded throughout South America.
Around 500 AD, white mice were brought to the Caribbean islands in a commercial way. Initially, the researchers assumed that the white mice in the Caribbean region were from Colombia, one of the South American locations closest to the Caribbean. But by studying the ancient DNA of white mice found in several archeological sites in the Caribbean, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Europe and North America, they found that the white mice in the Caribbean did not come from Colombia. but from Peru.
Even more surprising, the white rat corpse found in the Colombian plateau belongs to a completely different species of white mouse. This shows that domestication of guinea pigs has been done by humans both in Peru and Colombia completely independently of each other.
Genetic information along with archeological conditions also shows that through each stage, white mice are used for different purposes. Professor Matisoo-Smith explained:'then and to this day, they remain an important food source in many parts of South America and in cultures derived from South America. People brought these living mice to remote islands in exchange for other goods. White mice were brought to Europe by the Spaniards in the late 1500s and early 1600s, then to North America in the early 1800s as pets. In the XIIX century, white mice began to be used as medical experiments because they had many biological characteristics similar to humans, from which began the phrase 'used as white mice' in research work. All modern white mice, those sold for meat in South America and Puerto Rico, and those used for medical experiments, are derived from the domesticated white mouse in Peru. ' .
Why white mice are considered a pet in some places while being a food source in some other places is probably due to the long-standing conception in each place about what can be made for food and what is not .
White mice were once considered pets in some places.
Professor Matisoo-Smith said the study proved that the history of guinea pigs is more complex than previously thought and suggests other studies of domestication, migration and distribution. mammal. Tracing the origins of the Caribbean mouse has helped us understand human trade networks for the past 1,000 years.
By analyzing the DNA of ancient white mice, we better understand the history of human social interference for thousands of years across three continents. The results of this study also contributed to predicting the genetic diversity of white mice and the relationship of humans with this important animal.