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The earliest pigeon fanciers

AutorBlasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Sánchez Marco, Antonio ; Finlayson, Stewart; Negro, Juan J. ; Giles Pacheco, Francisco; Finlayson, Geraldine; Rodríguez Vidal, Joaquín
Fecha de publicación2014
EditorNature Publishing Group
CitaciónScientific Reports, 4:L 4971 (2014)
ResumenFeral Pigeons have colonised all corners of the Earth, having developed a close association with humans and their activities. The wild ancestor of the Feral Pigeon, the Rock Dove, is a species of rocky habitats, nesting typically on cliff ledges and at the entrance to large caves. This habit would have brought them into close contact with cave-dwelling humans, a relationship usually linked to the development of dwellings in the Neolithic. We show that the association between humans and RockDoves is an ancient one with its roots in the Palaeolithic and predates the arrival of modern humans into Europe. At Gorham’s Cave, Gibraltar, the Neanderthals exploited Rock Doves for food for a period of over 40 thousand years, the earliest evidence dating to at least 67 thousand years ago.We show that the exploitation was not casual or sporadic, having found repeated evidence of the practice in different, widely spaced, temporal contexts within the cave. Our results point to hitherto unappreciated capacities of the Neanderthals to exploit birds as food resources on a regular basis.More so, they were practising it long before the arrival of modern humans and had therefore invented it independently
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep05971
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/101091
DOI10.1038/srep05971
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