In New Guinea, prehistoric inhabitants grew cassowary, scientists found. This may be the oldest case of human breeding of birds, thousands of years before the domestication of chickens and geese.
About 18,000 years ago, the people of New Guinea probably picked cassowary eggs from their nests and then raised the birds that were hatched from them. The conclusions come from the research of an international research team. Researchers analyzed the shells found and found that the eggs were collected just before the chicks hatch.
“It happened thousands of years before the domestication of chickens,” describes Kristina Douglass from the University of Pennsylvania (USA). – And cassowaries are not some small birds, they are huge, dangerous flightless birds that can easily attack. A dwarf variety weighing about 20 kilograms was probably bred in New Guinea, she added.
The research results were published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”. According to scientists, this may be the oldest human breeding of birds, preceding the domestication of chickens and geese by thousands of years.
They were breeding cassowaries
Casuaries are even more similar to velociraptor dinosaurs than chickens or other domestic birds. They can be very aggressive, but when chicks become familiar with the image of a human, it is easy to breed them to adulthood.
After hatching, the chicks must see the human and then recognize him as the mother. This fixation, which also applies to other species of birds (called imprinting by biologists, i.e. imprinting or imprinting) does not change throughout life.
Casuaries (Latin. Casuariinae) can measure from 100 to 170 centimeters and weigh up to 58 kilograms. Females are larger and have a lighter coloration. They currently live in New Guinea and Northeast Australia.
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