Man’s faithful companion has been around since 27,000 years ago

Dogs separated from their cousins, the wolves, earlier than thought. It was reported on Tuesday that the split must have occurred 27, 000 years ago. The evolutionary link took different routes between 27, 000 and 40,000 years back according to researchers who diverged with the findings of other research teams

This latest belief was based on a piece of bone discovered on the Taimyr Peninsula in Siberia dating several years back. Scientists subjected it to a DNA test by reconstructing its gnome, a first for an ancient dog, wolf or any carnivore relic, and the result was that it lived 35,000 years before.

Differentiating it with the genome of modern species of Taimyr wolf, and with the other dogs and wolves of today, the research team were able to construct a family tree that revealed the time when the wolves and dogs went on their separate ways.

The result of their study imbued owners of Siberian huskies and Greenland sled dogs bragging rights which share some of the genes from the Taimyr wolf.

“The real history of dogs isn’t clear until now. There has been interbreeding between them and the wolves since the past thousands of years ago.”

According to Love Dalen, working in the Swedish Museum of Natural History and the author of this latest research published in Current Biology, the new proof, “is that dogs were domesticated as much as 30,000 years ago.”

However, according to him, their research didn’t prove that this is really what happened. A research fellow at Harvard University, Pontus Skoglund, and the original author of the research paper said, , “We can’t just look at the DNA and say whether a canid was living with modern humans.”

 

Another researcher from Oxford, Laurent Frantz, who was also into other canine evolution research project in the past said that the latest research  was “a great milestone in studying wolf populations,” although he said the timing of the domestication of dogs remained unclear. That the real time of the dog’s domestication remains unresolved right now.

Image: http://www.turtlehurtled.com/wp-content

For more info about this report please go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/22/science/family-tree-of-dogs-and-wolves-is-found-to-split-earlier-than-thought.html?_r=0

 

 

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