Hares were almost TAMED 5,000 years ago

Hares were almost TAMED 5,000 years ago and learnt to live alongside people in China where they may have had spiritual significance Hares are an animal which has never been fully domesticated by humans Study shows hares did develop a close relationship with people 4,900 years ago  Hares and humans learnt to co-exist with humans in the same way as foxes   Close relationship could have flourished due to spiritual or religious significance

By Joe Pinkstone For Mailonline

Published: 00:01 BST, 12 May 2020 | Updated: 00:09 BST, 12 May 2020

1

View
comments

Hares may have been domesticated almost 5,000 years ago in China, a study has discovered.  

Evidence from 54 buried hares revealed they lived on a diet including crops grown by Neolithic farmers in a remote part of China on the Loess Plateau.  

It is believed the hares may have developed spiritual or religious importance in the local culture and were therefore fed by the farmers. 

Scroll down for video 

Pictured, the skull of a desert hare (Lepus capensis) from Yangjiesh

Pictured, the skull of a desert hare (Lepus capensis) from Yangjiesha studied in the research, Researchers believe humans in China 5,000  years ago may have placed spiritual importance in the animals and fed them their crops 

Pictured, a desert hare, the kind found in and around Yangjiesha. Scientists claim the long-eared animal likely developed a close relationship with people living in thisa remote part ofChina on the Loess Plateau

Pictured, a desert hare, the kind found in and around Yangjiesha. Scientists claim the long-eared animal likely developed a close relationship with people living in this remote part of China on the Loess Plateau

Pengfei Sheng from Fudan University, who led the research, said: 'We find a pet-like human-hare relationship beyond the hunter and the hunted in the Neolithic China.'

Fifty-four hares were found around the early millet farming communities of Yangjiesha, China and anlsysis revealed they lived around 2900-2800 BC.

Four human remains, six dogs and 27 pigs were also found. 

Writing in the study, Dr Pengfei Sheng and his co-authors say: 'As millet-based agricultural systems expanded throughout the Loess Plateau, desert hares and humans developed a commensal relationship, much like other animal species associated with the increasingly abundant crop plants in and around Neolithic settlements.'    

Analysis of the remains focused on isotope analysis which is influenced by an animal's diet and lifestyle. 

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV nCino sharply raises its IPO price range, boosting possible valuation to $2.6B
NEXT Technology Marc Benioff's Salesforce has eclipsed Larry Ellison's Oracle in market cap