Middle East

The first animal to be bioengineered 4,500 years ago

A mixture of female and male Syrian donkeys, Kungus was a powerful and expensive animal raised in Mesopotamia 4,500 years ago.

A new DNA sequencing study reveals the origin of Kunga, a large and strong animal that is a hybrid of a donkey mother and a Syrian wild ass father. Historically, Kungus was the first animal to be bioengineered by humans.

Prior to the introduction of domestic horses in Mesopotamia in the late 3rd millennium BC, the authors used cuneiform tablets and lizards as deliberately bred high-value horses used in “diplomatic, ritual, and war”. It states that Kunga was mentioned.

However, despite the mention of Kunga, modern scientists did not know its exact zoological classification. That is, until recently. “”[The] Morphological analysis of horses found in the abundant burials of the early Bronze Age in Umm El Mara, Syria, placed them beyond the range reported for other known horse species. write It is published in the Science Advances journal.

The team of scientists reported:[We] Sequencing the genome of one of these approximately 4,500-year-old horses, along with a wild donkey (hemipe) from Syria about 11,000 years ago from Gobeklitepe (southeast Turkey) and the last two hemipes that survived. Did. Based on their findings, they could conclude that “Kungus is an F1 hybrid between female domestic donkeys and male hemips, thus recording the earliest evidence of hybrid animal breeding.” ..

Wild donkeys in Syria did not reach modern times because they were “the smallest of all modern horses until the subspecies became extinct in the early 20th century.”

At up to six times the price of a donkey, the large Kungus was “used to pull the vehicles of the’nobles and gods’.” The researcher wrote:[T]The size and speed of the heirs made it more desirable than a donkey for towing a four-wheeled combat vehicle in front of a horse-drawn tank. “

Small-sized male and female Kungas were used in agriculture “frequently reported to plow”.

Iconography and textual depiction of Kunga. ()

Syrian wild donkeys (hemipes) were difficult to capture and breed and had “uncontrollable, aggressive nature”, making it difficult to obtain Kungus. Researchers have discovered the following:[They were bred] In Nagar (Tell Brak, the ancient city of modern Syria) in northern Mesopotamia, its rulers also offered them as gifts to the elite of their allies. “

According to the New York Times, wild donkeys in Syria were captured and kept in captivity, but difficult to conquer. Eva-Maria Geigl, an expert on the ancient genome of the University of Paris and one of the scientists who conducted the study, To tell The director of the Austrian zoo, where the last captured Syrian wild donkey died, described them as “rage.”

Kungus existed before domestication of horses in Mesopotamia. The name Mesopotamia means “between two rivers” in Greek and refers to the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which is now divided into Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

Before study The domesticated horse, published in Science Advances, was “introduced to the South Caucasus and Anatolia during the Bronze Age” at the end of the 3rd millennium BC. This timeline makes Kungus the predecessor of domesticated horses.

Kunga was aseptic like a mule – a donkey / horse hybrid. Therefore, every time Kunga was bred, it was necessary to conceive a female donkey with a wild Syrian donkey. Kungus could not be mated.

Dr. Geigle says that the breeding of Kungus was really “early bioengineering” and developed into a kind of ancient biotechnology industry.

According to the New York Times, the teeth of the 44 Kunga skeletons state: A new study used these Kungus DNAs to compare them to other species and, as suspected, determined that these animals were the result of breeding female and male Syrian wild donkeys. did. “

Thumbnail image: Hybrid Kungus was a powerful and expensive animal raised in Mesopotamia 4,500 years ago.

Center image: Kunga iconography and textual depiction. (A) Cuneiform sign for ANŠE.BARxAN in the 3rd millennium BC. Above the photographs and figures of the clay tablets of UrIII Girsu / Lagash (British Museum BM23836), highlighted in juxtaposed figures. The first two lines are written as “ANŠE.BARxAN — a transmitted barley plot of 1 bur 6 iku (= 8.64 ha) in the area of ​​the King’s Horse (drawn and translated by the courtesy of K. Maekawa)”. (B) The details of the Standard of Ur show a wagon team pulling a four-wheeled wagon in battle (photo courtesy of British Museum image). (C) Image of a modern, rein ring similar to that found in the Standard of Ur, with a decorative horse from the royal tomb of Ur. (D) Ninebe Panel: “Hunting Wild Donkeys” (645-635 BC) (British Museum, London). Figure S8 shows an additional panel to prove that the horse depicted is non-penis. (C and D) British Museum, London; Photo Provider: E. Andrew Bennett

Source: TRT World and distributors

https://www.trtworld.com/life/kunga-the-first-animal-to-be-bioengineered-4-500-years-ago-53744?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss The first animal to be bioengineered 4,500 years ago

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