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Animal Hybrid Remains Found in Ancient Mesopotamia

FACTS: Scientists have discovered DNA from animal bones in northern Syria, believed to be the “kunga” animals written about in historical documents. These beasts were described as strong and fast but incapable of reproduction. The scientists claim they are the result of a female domestic donkey and a male Syrian wild ass.

QUOTES:   Study co-author Eva-Maria Geigl, genomicist at Institut Jacques Monod in Paris: “From the skeletons, we knew they were equids [horse-like animals], but they did not fit the measurements of donkeys and they did not fit the measurements of Syrian wild asses,” … “They really bio-engineered these hybrids. These were the earliest hybrids ever, as far as we know, and they had to do that each time for each kunga that was produced — so this explains why they were so valuable.”

SOURCE: To read the source for this article in ScienceAdvances journal, click here.