City Rats Eat Meat. Country Rats Eat What They Can.

It’s been nearly 3,000 years since Aesop wrote “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse,” the fable in which an urban rodent exposes his rural cousin to the city’s superior dining options. A new study suggests Aesop was right about the geographical differences in rodent diets.

By analyzing the remains of brown rats that lived in and around Toronto between 1790 and 1890, researchers have determined that city rats enjoyed a higher-quality and more stable diet than rural rats did. Just as in Aesop’s tale, the city rats benefited from the largess of human waste, whereas country rats scraped by. Read more.

Nuclear Techniques Help Provide Zimbabwe Children with Healthy School Lunches

Students who attend two schools outside of Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, often arrived for class so hungry, they could not concentrate. Some were reported to have collapsed from hunger during school assemblies. Others did not go to school at all, because their parents were not able to pay their school fees. When the headmasters of the schools approached the Joint FAO/IAEA Division’s Zimbabwean counterpart and asked for assistance in establishing vegetable fields near the schools, the answer was “yes,” and a team was established to support the project. Read more.

The First Americans

Few had ever heard of the little town of Buttermilk Creek, Texas, until it was placed on the map in early 2011 when Texas A & M University anthropologist Michael Waters made his public announcement. He and a team of archaeologists, researchers, students and volunteers had been painstakingly excavating at an archaeological site, known as the Debra L. Firiedkin site, for years. What they discovered there had generated excitement in the world of American archaeology. Read more.

Second Century Roman Watermill Not What Researchers Have Thought

Analyzing carbonate deposits from a second century AD Roman watermill site – thought to be one of the first industrial complexes in human history – has revealed characteristics of the mill, including its nonuse for several months of the year. These findings suggest that the Barbegal mill site was not the Roman city of Arelate’s main flour supplier as hypothesized, but rather it was likely used to produce non-perishable “ship’s bread” for the many ancient ships that visited the major ports of Arles during certain times of the year. Read more.

Revealed: Genetic Secrets of High-Ranked Warriors at a Medieval German Burial Site

Researchers studying human remains of high-ranked warriors recovered from an Early Medieval Germanic cemetery have finally gleaned insight into these individuals’ sex and kinship relationships. These findings offer a unique understanding of the Alemanni, a group of Germanic tribes that occupied a region spanning parts of present-day Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria. Read more.