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Wolf or dog? The mystery of the frozen puppy 18,000 years ago – Health Insurance

ABC Science




A 18,000 year old puppy It has baffled scientists: they don’t know if it’s a wolf or a dog. Dogor -which means «friend» in the Yakutia language-, as it has been baptized by its Russian discoverers, was found near Yakutsk, in eastern Siberia. Frozen in permafrost, it still retains its nose, fur and fangs noticeably intact.

Using carbon dating on the creature’s rib bone, experts from the Paleogenetic Center of Sweden were able to confirm that the specimen had been frozen for approximately 18 millennia. However, until now DNA tests have not been able to prove whether the animal was a dog or a wolf.

« It is usually relatively easy to tell the difference between the two, » he tells CNN David Stanton, researcher of the Paleogenetic Center.

In addition, it is the case that the period in which the canid is dated is «a very interesting moment in terms of evolution of wolves and dogs»: «We do not know exactly when the dogs were tamed, but it may have been around that time. We are interested in knowing if it is a dog or a wolf, or maybe be something halfway between the two« , it states.

When do we domesticate dogs?

It is believed that modern dogs were domesticated from wolves, but it is not clear when: in 2017, a study published in the journal « Nature Communications » found that modern dogs were domesticated from a single population of wolves ago. 20,000 to 40,000 years.

In contrast, a 2016 Oxford University study, published in the journal « Science », suggested that dogs were domesticated independently in two different places in the Paleolithic from gray wolves: once in Asia and once in Europe.

Researchers at the Paleogenetic Center explained through Twitter that genome analysis had revealed that the puppy was male. You will still have more tests to find out more about its origins.