Pampered Pets and Well-Fed Pests

Animals that are adapted to life with humans thrive. Many dogs and cats who live with well-off owners get more attention and medical care than poor people. Even animals that humans consider pests prosper. The house mouse, whose species name is Mus musculus, is more widespread around the world than any other type of rodent.

Archeologists and biologists from eight countries on four continents recently published a study tracking the history of the house mouse. They followed how human activities have helped the animal spread over the last 20,000 years, from the Middle East to Europe 4,000 years ago. They note that the spread of mice to Europe coincided with the introduction of widespread pet cats, with cats suddenly becoming useful.

Image of Mus musculus by George Shulkin.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: