18,000 year old puppy found preserved in permafrost

Date:27 November 2019 Author: Leila Stein Tags:,

The body of a frozen puppy was found in 2018 inside frozen ground near Indigirka River in Siberia. The puppy has since undergone genome sequencing, through the Swedish Centre for Palaeogenetics (CPG) but the test could not define if it was a wolf or a dog.

Not being able to determine the pups lineage is astounding as it was tested against the Centre’s DNA bank of all canines from around the world. Scientists believe that the difficulty is possibly because the wolves from which domesticated dogs are descended are long extinct.

Centre for Palaeogenetics/Twitter

According to Metro, the pup, named Dogor, was found by Love Dalén and Dave Stanton from Sweden. The body is almost completely preserved, including fur, except for an exposed spine and ribcage.

“It’s pretty special because you’re holding it and it really feels like a very recently dead animal,” Love, a Professor of Evolutionary Genetics, told Metro. “When we got that result [from the radiocarbon dating] it was amazing. Eighteen thousand years ago is an interesting time period where we think a lot of stuff is happening with both wolves and dogs genetically.”

The scientists believe that should the puppy be confirmed to be a dog, it will be the ‘oldest confirmed dog’ in history. Current research puts the earliest domestication of dogs occurred between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago.

Image: Centre for Palaeogenetics/ Twitter

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