'Mystery voyage' of Scottish islands' red deer

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'Mystery voyage' of Scottish islands' red deer

#1  Postby DougC » Apr 07, 2016 12:45 am


B.B.C. Article

When red deer arrived on Scotland's outer islands some 5,000 years ago, they were probably brought across the ocean by humans from as far away as central Europe, a study suggests.
Researchers compared ancient and modern deer DNA across the region.
In particular, analysis of deer samples from archaeological sites in Orkney and the Outer Hebrides revealed surprisingly distinctive DNA sequences.


The animals are unlikely to have come from the mainland, the scientists say.
Even Norway and Ireland are unlikely sources, they add, suggesting seafaring Neolithic people trafficked the beasts from a mysterious and more far-flung source.
Their findings are reported in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Red deer, the largest of modern British land animals, were banished from most of western Europe and restricted to southern Spain during the last Ice Age.

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