Recently, a puppy was discovered in ice and it could be the ‘oldest confirmed dog’ ever. Researchers shared the photos of the dog after finding it in a Siberian permafrost last year.
After the discovery, they couldn’t confirm that it was a wolf or a dog because it comes from the point where dogs were domesticated.
Dave Stanton and Love Dalen believe it could be the ‘oldest confirmed dog’ in history. This could teach us when wolves were domesticated.
They also named the ‘amazingly well-preserved’ creature ‘Dogor’ a pun on ‘dog or wolf’.
Professor Dalen said:
“It had a full set of teeth and was amazingly well-preserved even before they cleaned it up. [When we found it] we didn’t know how old it was. They said they found it in the permafrost but it happens that things get frozen in there that are only a few hundred years old or even a few decades.
We were excited about it but we had a healthy dose of scepticism until we radiocarbon dated it. Obviously when we got the results that it was 18,000 years old, that changes everything. When we got that result it was amazing. 18,000 years ago is an interesting time period where we think a lot of stuff is happening with both wolves and dogs genetically.
We cannot separate it from a modern wolf, Pleistocene [Ice Age] wolf or dog. One reason why it might be difficult to say is because this one is right there at the divergence time. So it could be a very early modern wolf or very early dog or a late Pleistocene wolf.”
Even though it’s thousands of years old, they said it looks like a ‘very recently dead animal’. They said it was so well-preserved because it was uncovered in a tunnel dug into the permafrost.
More info: Centre for Palaeogenetics
It was found in east Siberia. The remains will be studied in Sweden.