Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Vikings 'carried mice to colonies'
Mice hitched a ride with Vikings to mount their own invasions in the 10th century, research has shown.
A genetic study shows that Viking longboats carried the weeny Norse warriors to colonies in Iceland and Greenland.
Scientists compared modern mouse DNA with ancient samples from mouse bones found at archaeological sites.
The analysis showed that the house mouse, Mus musculus domesticus, hitched lifts with Vikings in the early 10th century from either Norway or the northern British Isles.
Descendants of these stowaways can still be found in Iceland where DNA samples were collected from nine sites.
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