Meet Dogor the 18,000-year-old puppy found in Siberia

Meet Dogor the 18,000-year-old puppy found in Siberia

Meet Dogor the 18,000-year-old puppy found in Siberia

The 18,000-year-old body of a near perfectly preserved puppy has left scientists puzzled.

"The DNA sequencing issue meant the animal could come from a population that is a common ancestor of both dogs and wolves", Researcher Dave Stanton at the Centre for Palaeogenetics in Sweden was quoted as saying by CNN.

Researchers have spent decades tracing the lineage of domestic dogs and believe Man's Best Friend was domesticated sometime between around 19,000 to 30,000 years ago, give or take a couple thousand years.

"It's normally relatively easy to tell the difference between the two", David Stanton, a researcher at the Centre for Palaeogenetics, told CNN. "The fact that we can't might suggest that it's from a population that was ancestral to both - to dogs and wolves".

Studies based on previous discoveries in Siberian permafrost suggest that dogs may have been domesticated between 27,000 and 40,000 years ago, earlier than previous estimates of 11,000-16,000 years.

"We don't know exactly when dogs were domesticated, but it may have been from about that time".

Stanton added that the specimen also comes from a "very informative" time in wolf evolution.

Dogor may be "something halfway between the two", Stanton said. "So that's why it's such a hard problem to work on to understand where and when dogs were domesticated". Another scientific method known as Genome analyses showed that the puppy was male.

The scientists plan to run more genome data tests on the creature to find out more about its origins. The permafrost preserved the puppy's body, muzzle, and even whiskers, eyelashes, and velvety nose.

Dogor can be seen nearly completely covered in fur except for an exposed rib cage. The mummified puppy was discovered in a lump of permanently frozen ground (so-called permafrost) near the Indigirka river in the Yakutia region, Siberia, Russia.

The remains were later sent to Oxford University's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit for dating.

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