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Fox May Have Been Prehistoric Man’s Dog–study

According to a report published in the journal ‘PLoS One,’ fox may have been prehistoric human’s best friend.Graves uncovered

The researchers led by University of Cambridge have discovered a a prehistoric cemetery in Jordon that suggests that some thousand years back, fox was buried with man.They studied the contents of the two graves.

In the first, they found remains of man and a woman. Alongside man, there was a skull of a fox. In the other grave, they found remains and skeletal remnants of fox.Lisa Maher, from the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, University of Cambridge, stated, The burial site provides intriguing evidence of a relationship between humans and foxes which predates any comparable example of animal domestication.

The graveyard in Uyun-al-Hammam in northern Jordan is nearly 16,500 years old. This makes these graves about 4,000 years older than those earliest known human dogs graves.

Fox was early man’s best friend
The burial suggests that fox was kept as pet long before man started hunting them using dogs.

However, the researchers added that this association between fox and human was for a very short period. Though the early men chose foxes as they companion, they shifted to dogs for pets over the years.

What we appear to have found is a case where a fox was killed and buried with its owner. Later, the grave was reopened for some reason and the human’s body was moved, stated Maher.

She added, But because the link between the fox and human had been significant, the fox was moved as well, so that the person, or people, would still be accompanied by it in the afterlife.

Why man shifted to dog?
However, the researchers added that this association between fox and human was for a very short period. Though the early men chose foxes as they companion, they shifted to more companionable dogs over the years.

Further, it is not certain if primitive man ever fully domesticated the foxes.

The research done on foxes suggests that they can be tamed but the process is difficult as they are skittish and timid. This could probably be the reason that man eventually chose dog as animal companion.

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Posted in Africa, Animism, Dogs & Canids, Europe.

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