Fossil records show how modern distribution of cattle in Kenya occurred 2,000 years ago

March 10, 2015 3:59 PM

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Scientists had always thought that the influence of tsetse-fly influenced the spread of livestock and migration of cattle herders throughout southern Africa at a time when the Sahara Desert was expanding some 5,500 years ago. But recent evidence contradicts this assertion, claiming that tsetse-fly couldn’t have been prevalent when cattle herders were migrating up south some 2,000 years ago, but rather that lush vegetation and wetter grasslands caused the herders to move their livestock.

Publishing their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of scientists from Washington University at St. Louis conducted an isotopic analysis of the tooth enamel of cattle remains discovered at a 2,000-year-old settlement around Gogo Falls in Kenya.

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