Scientists in Russia have discovered the 18,000-year-old body of a canine near Yakutsk, Eastern Siberia. The organization has been preserved by the permafrost- ground that remains completely frozen, very common in Russia.
Is it a dog or a wolf?
The canine specimen’s nose, fur, and teeth are somehow remarkably intact, with no hint of decay.
Sweden’s Centre for Palaeogenetics experts used carbon dating on the specimen’s rib bone. They were able to determine that the creature had been frozen for about 18,000 years.
What remains unclear is whether the specimen is a wolf or a dog. Extensive DNA tests have been run, yielding no conceivable results pointing to whether it is a wolf or dog.
David Stanton, a researcher at the Centre for Palaeogenetics, has said that it is relatively easy to differentiate between the two. He said that they have a lot of data from the specimen already. Yet, the fact that they can not place the example shows that it might be from a population ancestral to both.
He added that the period from which the puppy is from is “an exciting time in terms of wolf and dog evolution.”
He said that it is quite challenging to know when dogs were domesticated, but the specimen can be from that time. Another possibility is that it is possibly halfway between a dog and a wolf.
Stanton said that further tests are likely to reveal precisely when dogs were domesticated.
Theories on domesticating dogs
Back in 2017, a study that was published in the journal Nature Communications confirmed an approach that has been around for a while. The theory is that dogs were domesticated from wolves by early humans. The study found that modern dogs were bred from one single population of wolves about 20,000- 40,000 years ago.
However, a 2016 University of Oxford study was published in the journal Science which gave a contradictory theory. That dogs were independently domesticated during the Paleolithic era from gray wolves. Once in Asia and once in Europe.
Genome analysis has revealed that the puppy was male, scientists said on Twitter. The puppy is called “Dogor,” meaning “friend.” The name was given after they conferred with their Russian counterparts.