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A single origin for all modern dogs

A single domestication event from a population of gray wolves that occurred between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago could be the origin of modern dogs.

By examining the DNA of two prehistoric dogs from Germany, an international research team from the College of Arts & Sciences at Stony Brook University, has determined that their genomes were the likely ancestors of modern European dogs.

Dogs were the first animals to be domesticated by humans. The oldest dog fossils that can be clearly distinguished from wolves are from the region in Germany from about 15,000 years ago. But, the archaeological record is unclear, with claims of ancient domesticated dog bones being reported in as far east as Siberia. Fresh analysis of genetic data from present-day dogs adds to mystery, with some scientists proposing many areas of Europe, Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East as likely origins of dog domestication.

They also found proof of a younger 5,000 year old dog to be a blend of European dogs and roughly that resembles the contemporary central Asian/Indian dogs. This discovery may reveal that people moving into Europe from the Asian Steppes at the start of the Bronze Age carried their own dogs with them.


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