2,000-year-old tooth enamel shows tsetse-fly did not influence movement of cattle herders in ancient Sahara

March 10, 2015 2:49 PM

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The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest desert at 3,500,000 square miles in northern Africa, and a great pastoral support to cattle herders about 5,500 years ago. However, a study conducted by researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that contrary to what many people believed influenced the migration of herders to southern Africa – lush vegetation provided by Lake Victoria encouraged herders to migrate, and never the attack of tsetse-fly.

It was widely believed that tsetse-fly caused cattle herders to move their livestock south of the desert when the Sahara started expanding, but new facts substantiated by a scientific analysis of the tooth enamel of cattle fossil now proves that lush vegetation and wetter grasslands caused the herde...

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