London, Jan 28 (ANI): New findings by University of Cambridge-led team suggest that early man may have preferred the fox as a pet rather than dogs.
Scientists analysing remains at a prehistoric burial ground in Jordan have uncovered a grave in which a fox was buried with a human, dated thousands of years before dogs were kept as companions, reports the Daily Mail.
They believe that the unprecedented case - in which the remains of the animal and the man were then partially transferred to an adjacent grave - points to some kind of emotional link between human and fox.
Their study suggests that the fox may have been kept as a pet and was being buried to accompany its master, or mistress, to the afterlife.
If so, it marks the first known burial of its kind and suggests that long before man hunted foxes using dogs, our ancestors were keeping them as pets.
The cemetery, at Uyun-al-Hammam, in northern Jordan, is about 16,500 years old, which makes the grave 4,000 years older than the earliest known human-dog burial. The study appears in the journal PLoS One. (ANI)