Feeds

Horny VIKING MICE raped and pillaged Euro pipsqueaks

Tiny raiders revelled in 10th century rampages

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Virile Norse mice rampaged through Scotland, Ireland and Iceland impregnating locals and mixing their Viking mouse genes in the native rodent populations, according to research published by the BMC Evolutionary Biology journal.

Artist's impression of a Viking mouse
in an ill-fitting helmet

Boffins found that the spread of a particular Norwegian mouse gene in northern Europe "remarkably" mirrored the spread of human genes by Viking marauders. The Vikings brought animals including horses and sheep on their long boats, and the sexually active house mice must have crept onboard too.

The team, led by Eleanor Jones of Uppsala University in Sweden, pored over ancient mouse DNA samples from the 10th and 12th century, comparing them to genetic samples from mice today. The research found that "in the North Atlantic region, human settlement history over a thousand years is reflected remarkably by the mtDNA phylogeny of house mice".

Like their human counterparts, today's Icelandic mice retain an unusual genetic purity due to the isolated gene pool on the island. The researchers reported that Icelandic mouse DNA retains "the signature of the ancestral house mouse founders".

The Norse mice, like their Viking hosts, may have arrived in Newfoundland, but left no trace in the mouse gene pool, the research also found. It was possible that Vikings landed on the coast of Canada, but any human settlements there died out.

Genetic records suggest that Norse mice may have colonised Greenland before becoming extinct and then recolonized later, a pattern that reflects the distribution of Norse genes in the human populations of the islands. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.