We are all used to having cats near us. It is difficult to imagine now a house, or an apartment, where there are no these cute and fluffy animals. People give them affection, and they answer them with love and devotion. One gets the impression that it has always been this way. In fact, cats were once wild. Several millennia ago, people tamed them and now cats are our allies in the fight against rodents and are just our favorite animals.
Scientists have wondered how domestic cats are. This question is extremely interesting because it is difficult to find a species of animals that could be considered more “domestic” than cats. Scientists began studying the cat’s genome in 2007. Most of the work was done by the University of Washington Genome Institute. An Abyssinian cat suffering from a congenital eye disease was chosen as the object. The researchers decided to thoroughly check her pedigree for several generations in order to get answers to questions of interest, to find abnormalities in her genes.
During the research, her genome was sequenced. Scientists have compared it to the genome of wild felines. The comparison led to several interesting conclusions. First of all, there is no difference in key characteristics between wild and domestic cats. They are equally carnivorous, have keen eyesight and a keen sense of smell. Differences are observed in some of the external signs – the shape of the skull, color, and density of the coat.
The main difference between domestic cats is the presence in the genome of the “obedience gene”, which was developed during coexistence with humans. Scientists believe that the presence of characteristic “hunting” genes makes them only half domesticated. Cats will be able to survive without a person thanks to them. Each of them has something wild that people will never be able to tame …
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