Jan 18, 2022

DNA sequencing solves mystery of earliest hybrid animal’s identity

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Bronze Age bioengineers created the earliest hybrid animal — a majestic horselike creature known as a kunga that had a donkey mom, a Syrian wild ass for a father and lived 4,500 years ago, according to new research based on the sequencing of DNA from the animal’s skeleton.

Descriptions and imagery in Mesopotamian art and texts portray a powerful animal that pulled war wagons into battle and royal vehicles in parades. Its true identity, however, had long puzzled and divided archaeologists. Domesticated horses didn’t arrive in the region, sometimes referred to as the Fertile Crescent, until 4,000 years ago.

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