Before horses, ass hybrids were bred for warfare
Published Date: 1/14/2022
Source: phys.org
The 4,500-year-old iconography and texts from Mesopotamia show that the elite used equids for travel and warfare; however, the nature of these animals remained mysterious. In Science Advances (January 14, 2022), a team from the Institut Jacques Monod (CNRS/Université de Paris) used ancient DNA to show that these animals were the result of crossing domestic donkeys with wild asses. This makes them the oldest known example of animal hybrids, which were produced by Syro-Mesopotamian societies 500 years before the arrival of domestic horses in the region.