Is frozen 18,000-year-old puppy missing link between wolves and dogs?

| | December 5, 2019
year old puppy permafrost could be oldest dog in the world dde a cc
Image: Sergey Fedorov
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

An 18,000-year-old puppy unearthed in Siberia could prove to be the missing link between dogs and wolves, scientists believe.

The puppy was discovered perfectly preserved by permafrost near Yakutsk, eastern Siberia last summer and carbon dating has revealed it has been frozen for around 18,000 years.

Researchers at the Centre for Palaeogenetics in Stockholm, Sweden announced this week that extensive DNA tests have so far been unable to confirm whether the animal was a dog or a wolf.

The experts believe this may be because the canine comes from the period when dogs were domesticated and hope the creature will prove crucial to uncovering when exactly the evolution began.

Related article:  7 misconceptions about evolutionary psychology, including the idea that behavior is genetically determined

“We don’t know exactly when dogs were domesticated, but it may have been from about that time. We are interested in whether it is in fact a dog or a wolf, or perhaps it’s something halfway between the two,” [said researcher David Stanton.]

[Researchers] have named the puppy ‘Dogor’. The name means “friend” in Yakutian – as well as referencing the question “dog or wolf?”

The scientists hope that further genome data tests on the creature will reveal more about Dogor’s origins.

Read full, original post: 18,000-year-old puppy discovered in Siberia could be missing link between dogs and wolves

Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend