July 5, 2022

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The most dangerous bird in the world was actually bred by humans 18,000 years ago - teach me about science

The most dangerous bird in the world was actually bred by humans 18,000 years ago – teach me about science

A research team led by Dr. Christina Douglaswho used eggshells to make their claims.

It has long been considered that one of the first species to be domesticated was the chicken, about 9,000 years ago. However, this new study can slap that claim in the face, as the discovery dates back 18,000 years. “The behavior that we see occurs thousands of years before the domestication of chickens,” he explained. It’s a statement Dr. Christina Douglas, Professor of Anthropology and African Studies At Penn State University.

The cassowary is characterized by its very aggressive territorial behavior and is often compared to a dinosaur for its appearance (remember that dinosaurs are classified as both birds and non-avian).“This is not a small bird, it is a huge, stubborn, flightless bird that can disembowel you if given the opportunity and is threatened.” explain Dr. Douglas.

Modern day chick cassowary. Photo: Andy Mac

To tell the truth, cassowaries are not chickens; In fact, they are more like a velociraptor than most domesticated birds. “However, cassowary chicks breed easily among humans and are easy to keep and raise to adult size.” explain Researchers in their new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

To conduct their study, the researchers analyzed more than 1,000 pieces of fossilized eggshells, which were extracted from two rock shelters used by fishermen in New Guinea. They then compared that to data from an analysis of eggshells from birds that still live today. In the third stage, the team used 3D computer models to reconstruct the shape of the eggs at different stages of incubation.

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“What we found is that the vast majority of eggshells were collected during the later stages, indicating that people living in these sites were collecting eggs when the cassowary embryos had fully formed limbs, beaks, claws and feathers.” Dr. Douglas explained.

According to the researchers, the fact that successfully collecting and breeding cassowary eggs was a risky task, since people at that time needed to know where the nests were, when they were laid, and remove them before hatching. Hatch “chick”. According to Dr. Douglas, people in the Late Pleistocene did not only collect eggs to eat their contents.

The search was published in PNAS.

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