Skip to comments.Snails Reveal Ancient Human Migration from France to Ireland
Posted on 06/23/2013 4:32:45 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
A genetic study of snails, combined with other factors, suggests a migration of Mesolithic peoples from the Pyrenees to Ireland.
A recent study of the mitochondrial DNA of the Cepaea nemoralis land snail, a snail curiously common only between Ireland and the Pyrenees region of Southern France, has led researchers to conclude the possibility that ancient Mesolithic people carried the fauna with them in a migration from the French region to Ireland about 8,000 years ago.
This correlates with studies of human genetics and the colonization of Ireland, according to the research* published June 19 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Angus Davison and colleagues from the University of Nottingham, UK.
Ireland and this region of France are thousands of miles apart.
Says Davison, "There is a very clear pattern, which is difficult to explain except by involving humans. If the snails naturally colonized Ireland, you would expect to find some of the same genetic type in other areas of Europe, especially Britain. We just don't find them."
Moreover, he adds, "There are records of Mesolithic or Stone Age humans eating snails in the Pyrenees, and perhaps even farming them. The highways of the past were rivers and the ocean as the river that flanks the Pyrenees was an ancient trade route to the Atlantic, what we're actually seeing might be the long lasting legacy of snails that hitched a ride, accidentally or perhaps as food, as humans travelled from the South of France to Ireland 8,000 years ago."
*Grindon AJ, Davison A (2013) Irish Cepaea nemoralis Land Snails Have a Cryptic Franco-Iberian Origin That Is Most Easily Explained by the Movements of Mesolithic Humans. PLoS ONE 8(6): e65792. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065792
(Excerpt) Read more at popular-archaeology.com ...
Genetic markers in banded wood snails in Ireland and France reveal ancient human migrations. Credit: Lauren Holden
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To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
Look at that S car go!
I think snails are hermaphroditic and a single snail can reproduce.
So all it would take is ONE SNAIL stuck to a piece of wood or something, floating across the English channel, and you get the same result.
To turn this into some astounding revelation about human migration is lame... just lame.
Slow news day?
Can’t explain unless we involve humans??.....Ridiculous
What they need is more grant money...
Agreed. Just build a farm pond in Ill. and soon you will have all sorts of wildlife (including snails) that couldn't make the trip alone. The eggs are transported by waterfowl.
Well, we agree 100%
If I was a mentor of somebody who came to such a ridiculous conclusion, I would think the only honorable thing to do would be to resign immediately!
It’s pretty meaningless. I mean the conclusion is that people went from France to the British Isles man that’s just MIND-BOGGLING in it’s implications, eh?
Thank God for snails!!
GUARD #1: Where’d you get the coconut?
ARTHUR: We found them.
GUARD #1: Found them? In Mercea? The coconut’s tropical!
ARTHUR: What do you mean?
GUARD #1: Well, this is a temperate zone.
ARTHUR: The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin
or the plumber may seek warmer climes in winter yet these are not
strangers to our land.
GUARD #1: Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?
The Pyrenees run along the border of France & Spain. This is considerably further than crossing the English Channel.
If it’s longer for snails, it’s longer for humans.
The snails didn’t reveal a single thing. The authors of the study have chosen to speculate.
That’s not science.
The geese found it. What a pain...and cr** all over the place.
Then there's the bazillion frogs....
It’s the insane hidden thought that bothers me....that humans deliberately transported the snails.
No, a single snail is not able to reproduce with itself, and your post is lame.
“Honey, we’re all set to leave. Did you pack the snails?” :)
I suscribe to the theory (which...ahem...I must say in all modesty that I just made up)that the escargot eating Frogs simply followed the snails as they migrated north (at a snail’s pace of course)after the Ice Age.
After all, no one has ever produced evidence of ‘snail transporting equipment’ with which the Frenchies would have carried the snails north.
My wife is of Irish ancestry. This story will provide me ammunition in arguments for years to come.
Wait a minute! I read an article here about a year ago that said that DNA research showed that the Irish were descended from the Germans. So now, on Saint Patricks Day, we all have to drink green beer and eat bratwurst with escargot?
That Ireland may have been, at least, partially populated by the seafaring Basques is not so far fetched.
Almost ALL snails are hermaphroditic.
ALL hermaphroditic snails can self-fertilize and lay eggs in times of environmental stress.
And ALL humans can cross water. Your “snail floated across on driftwood” idea is complete nonsense.
If the snails were domesticated animals I would say the hypothesis might be correct.
The nonsense part of all this is that some dude traveled all that distance, ignoring the antelope and fish and other foods on the way, but made sure he could snack on the snails in his backpack...
Please remove me from your list. Most of the posts I’ve seen have little scientific justification.
Not lame if there are similarities in Celtic and native language from those mountains on the French and Spanish border.
The French are known to eat the snails...maybe they ate them in the stone age. Could explain a lot about the French if they survived for thousands of years on snails.
The French is famous for "doctoring" foods and snails are among them.
The closest I get are mussels, clams and oysters.
In my garden...my snails croak in beer.