Dogs have been around humans for less time than it was previously suspected by scientists and the evidence lies in a recently published study. This research confirms that domesticated dogs appeared around 15,000 years later than it was initially believed. The initial supposition was based on 2 fossil skulls, one of them being older than 30,000 years. These skulls were the evidence that put the domesticated dog to a time when early humanoids were still in organized in a hunter-gatherer way.
A 3D investigation of the skulls showed that those really had actually been wolves skulls, and not the original tainted canines as it was put forth in past studies, as indicated by a group of experts in the Nature Journal Scientific Reports.
They likewise noted that this demonstrates the earliest fossil proof for household dogs is now around 15,000 years old, a time when people had just began farming activities.
Biologist and study co-author Abby Drake of Skidmore College, New York commented on the issue saying:
“Scientists have been eager to put a collar on the earliest domesticated dog. Unfortunately, their analyses weren’t sensitive enough to accurately determine the identity of these fossils.”
Together with a team of experts Drake had scanned the skulls and used 3D graphic programming software to better analyze the shape and size of the fossils. The information and size estimations have been compared to skulls of canines and wolves of both current and ancient times. This method helped the group to spot slight morphological differences between canines and wolves such as the eye cavity orientation.
According to Drake the new approach offers a new and more exact technique for establishing whether a fossil belongs to a wolf or a puppy. The researcher also added the discoveries revealed that different measurements used in the past were rather inaccurate. Drake boasted that her team managed to establish whether a skull was from a canine or wolf with 96% exactness.
Various researchers believe that dog taming set off around the time ancient wolves started to rummage on waste areas close to human groups/tribes. It is speculated that the canine has separated from the wolf around seven thousand to thirty thousand years back.
About 200 years ago give or take, that the first breeds were determined. Since then there has been a surge in the variety of breeds and in the number of dogs as well.
Drake concluded saying that humans are naturally close to dogs and we have impacted their evolution and because dogs are such an important part of human lives today the researcher was felt motivated to find out when their domestication took place.
Image Source: The Atlantic