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Rat bones found in Israel suggest ancient Africa-Europe ecological travel route

9 9 253

The remains of a rat from some tens of thousands of years ago could shed light on the potential existence of a travel corridor of temperate climate from Africa to Europe, Israeli researchers said Tuesday.

The remains of a maned, or crested, rat were found in Israel during excavations in 2016 by archeologists searching for ancient scrolls. Hundreds of bones were found in a cave in the southern Judean Desert.

The researchers said that the presence of the rat’s remains suggested that there may have been a corridor of land to Israel from East Africa with a similarly damp climate to enable to species to survive the migration.

According to a statement by the University of Haifa, the researchers who tested the remains successfully extracted the earliest genetic sample found in the region so far.

“We were able to extract DNA from the ancient bones,” the researchers said in a statement from the University of Haifa. “It is the earliest DNA extracted from bones in our region to date. Genetic and morphological analysis revealed........

© The Times of Israel

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