DOGS: Man’s best friend for the past 23,000 years

Domestic dogs descended from wolves

A NEW study suggests that dogs were domesticated in Siberia 23,000 years ago.

An international team of researchers, led by Durham University archaeologist Angela Perri, suggests that dogs began to be domesticated as companion animals in Siberia more than 23,000 years ago.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), explains that the first people who entered America more than 15,000 years ago from Northeast Asia, were accompanied by their dogs.

Archaeological and genetic records show that by the time they reached America, dogs had already been domesticated through their wolf ancestors and likely played roles within human societies.

Regarding why, Angela Perri explains that during the Last Glacial Maximum (around 23,000 to 19,000 years ago) Beringia (the land and sea area between Canada and Russia) and most of Siberia were extremely cold and dry so harsh weather conditions may have brought human and wolf populations together, as animals roamed human camps in search of food, starting the relationship which resulted in domestication.

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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.


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