A puppy from about 18,000 years ago found frozen and perfectly preserved left scientists puzzled.
Puppy from the past
A puppy froze in time found by Russian scientists. They discovered the puppy near Yakutsk, in eastern Siberia. Preserved by permafrost, the canine’s nose, teeth, and fur is still intact.
Using carbon dating on the specimen’s rib bone, experts in Sweden’s Center for Palaeogenetics were able to confirm the pup had been frozen around 18,000 years. But so far DNA tests have been unable to show whether the pup was a wolf or a dog.
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David Stanton, a researcher at the Centre for Palaeogenetics said,
It’s normally relatively easy to tell the difference between the two
We have a lot of data from it already, and with that amount of data, you’d expect to tell if it was one or the other. The fact that we can’t might suggest that it’s from a population that was ancestral to both — to dogs and wolves,
He also said,
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.
Now, further tests may provide more insight into when exactly were dogs are domesticated, Stanton said.
The scientists plan to run more genome data tests on the creature to find out more about its origins.