Skip to comments.Scarlet macaw DNA points to ancient breeding operation in Southwes
Posted on 08/13/2018 7:37:17 PM PDT by BenLurkin
Historically, scarlet macaws lived from South America to eastern coastal Mexico and Guatemala, thousands of miles from the American Southwest. Previously, researchers thought that ancestral Puebloan people might have traveled to these natural breeding areas and brought birds back, but the logistics of transporting adolescent birds are difficult. None of the sites where these early macaw remains were found contained evidence of breedingeggshells, pens or perches.
"We were interested in the prehistoric scarlet macaw population history and the impacts of human direct management," said George. "Especially any evidence for directed breeding or changes in the genetic diversity that could co-occur with different trade networks."
The researchers sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of 20 scarlet macaw specimens, but were only able to obtain full sequences from 14. They then directly radiocarbon-dated all 14 birds with complete or near complete genomes and found they fell between 900 and 1200 CE.
"We looked at the full mitochondrial genome of over 16,000 base pairs to understand the maternal relationships represented in the Chaco Canyon and Mimbres regions," said George.
The researchers found that the probability of obtaining 14 birds from the wild and having them all come from the same haplogroup, one that is small and isolated, was extremely small. A better explanation, especially because these specimens ranged over a 300-year period, is that all the birds came from the same breeding population and that this population existed somewhere in the American Southwest or northern Mexico.
"These birds all likely came from the same source, but we don't have any way to support that assumption without examining the full genome," said George. "However, the genetic results likely indicate some type of narrow breeding from a small founder population with little or no introgression or resupply."
(Excerpt) Read more at phys.org ...
Scarlet macaws are wonderful birds.
Painful to have developed an allergy to parrots after keeping them for 25 years.
Out there are at least 3 parrots I raised from eggs...my babies.
So easy, even a caveman can do it.
During the Renaissance, wealthy families in Florence, Italy, had monkeys and exotic birds as status symbols.
If they could be transported to Italy, this story about exotic bird breeding sounds plausible.
Yeah, really, what possible difference, at this point, could it make? ;^)
So, we must ask ourselves,
Why were these cavemen raising Macaws?
The answer is obvious to any experienced ornithologist.
Cavemen didnt have TVs or asphalt paving or other forms of recreation, so they used to race Macaws.
And the Macaws always won because they had wings and could fly over the rocks and Sabre toothed Poodles and so forth.
Except for Flying Feet Gronk who could do the hundred in 9.5 or whatever his Fred Flintstone watch said.
There are archeological remains that suggest the first Pueblo builders were migrant Aztecs.
If that group of city-builders moved north from Mexico, then it is reasonable that they brought their pets with them.
the question indicates gross ignorance of the asker.
The people of Casa Grandes raised the macaws and the pens are still there. These same people developed a meridian streaching from Casa Grande due north to Chaco and on further to Aztec in perfect alignment for hundreds of miles.
It looks just like Paris!
Who cares if they built medians?
They didnt have cars.
You should get off your ass and go visit Chaco Canyon and enlighten your self. You don’t need to dwell in ignorance
I visited Canyon de Chelly in the American Southwest and was in awe.
It amazes me that with only simple tools they were able to dig a hole that large.
Ive visited Chicago.
Sure, they have lights there.
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