An 18,000-year-old puppy has been discovered in Siberia, one of the coldest parts of the world, for which researchers are trying to find out if it is a wolf or a dog?
He died at about two months of age and has been astonishingly safe for centuries in Russia’s icy plains. Even the hair, the skin, the nose and the teeth are safe.
Scientists have compared its DNA to other known animals, but have failed to detect the species. Scientists say the animal is likely to be related to the evolutionary evolution between wolves and modern dogs. Through the use of radiocarbon dating, scientists find out how old he was at the time of death and how long it has been frozen. His genetic analysis revealed that he was a male.
@Nibbledtodeath is working on this specimen together with @pontus_skoglund.— Centre for Palaeogenetics (@CpgSthlm) November 18, 2019
It's 18 kyrs old!
So far, we have sequenced it's genome to 2X coverage. But we still can't say if it's a #wolf or a #dog. Maybe it's the common ancestor?
More sequencing needed!
(Photo: S Fedorov) pic.twitter.com/3zhbVEudig
Dave Stanton, a researcher at Sweden’s Center for Paleogenetics, told CNN that failure in DNA sequencing means that the animal is likely to belong to a common breed of dogs and wolves.
He said, ‘We have already received a lot of data, and with so much data, we hope to find out if it is a dog or a wolf.’
Lou Dillon, another researcher at the centre, tweeted a question as to whether the animal was a wolf or ‘possibly the oldest dog ever discovered.’
Here is another amazing find from the Belaya Gora site!— Love Dalén (@love_dalen) April 16, 2019
Radiocarbon dating says it 18,000 years old.
Question: is it a #wolf cub, or possibly the oldest #dog ever found?
We are hoping to answer this by sequencing it's genome (it has 43% endogenous DNA).
But what do you think? pic.twitter.com/MTZ918GFBf
Scientists will continue sequencing its DNA and believe the results can tell a lot about the evolution of dogs. The puppy is named “Dogor” which means ‘friend’ in the Yakut language spoken in Russia. Also, it is a preliminary part of the Question (Dog or wolf?).
Modern dogs are believed to belong to the breed of wolves, but it has been debated as to when humans started to adopt dogs. According to a study published in 2017, humans must have performed this process 20,000 to 40 thousand years ago.