A team of researchers from the University of Illinois have undertaken a study of the ancient dog bones found in both South and North America. Their lab analysis provided them with genetic evidence that canines may have come to the continent thousands of years after the first humans started to live on American soil. More exactly, man’s best friend came to America 10,000 years ago
Main study analyst, Kelsey Witt remarked that dogs are some of the earliest animals that travelled with people during migration periods, which proves a great deal regarding the relationship canines have had with primitive humans. Other members of the research team added that studying ancient dog remains could bring a lot of insight when trying to analyze human mobility around the globe over time.
Specialists came to realize that the canine species and humankind have a connection that goes way back in history, perhaps even more than it was previously thought.
Researchers inspected and observed the mitochondrial DNA to discover answers. They suspected that past theories might have been off base, like for instance, the belief that dogs arrived in Alaska somewhere between 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. Contrary to these theories, the new study suggests that dogs first stepped on American land as early as 10,000 years ago.The old dog bones also uncovered four new genetic prints which suggest that the species might have been more diverse.
The discoveries of Kelsey Witt, who was helped by anthropology professor Ripan Malhi, focused on the mitochondrial of dogs, because, unlike nuclear DNA, this one is passed on from ‘mother’ to puppy. This helped the experts to establish a continuous hereditary chain and return to the past.
For the purpose of this study, Brian Kemp, a scientist from Washington State University, submitted DNA samples from remains discovered in Colorado and British Columbia. Likewise, the Illinois State Archeological Survey (ISAS) offered thirty –five samples from an archeological site called Janey B, situated near North America’s first known heavily inhabited region, a city named Cahokia.
The ancient Cahokia was particularly important for the recent study’s purpose as it appears its inhabitants valued greatly their furred buddies. Dog remains in Cahokia were found in individual tombs or buried back to back in pairs.
The date of canine species domestication still puzzles scientists, even if there are some solid hints that dogs were tamed in Africa, Europe and Asia before the first Americans arrived.Dogs probably became humans’ best friend after they started living with them and saw the benefits of their proximity. Living with humans meant, among others, a more simple access to food.
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