The dog is the oldest pet in the service of man, but its genetic history is relatively unknown due to the fact that the archaeological discoveries were tender.
In a report presented in the scientific journal Science A group of Swedish and international researchers examined the entire genome of 27 prehistoric canine skeletons, the oldest of which is roughly 11,000 years old. Since then, their genomes have been compared to modern dogs, wolves, and jackals.
Older than expected
The results show that even at that time there were five different genotypes of dogs spread throughout the world. This means that the domestic dog is much larger than previously thought.
“Perhaps all living dogs now descend from a wolf that was domesticated about 20,000 years ago, in the middle of the height of the last ice age,” says Pontus Skoglund, a geneticist at the Francis Crick Institute in London and one of the authors. .
Nobody knows where in the world the first wolf was domesticated. The only thing geneticists can say is that it belongs to a now extinct species, and that the people who adopted it lived as hunters and gatherers.
It was perhaps a difficult project, as no similar domestication, i.e. adaptation to humans through reproduction, of wild wolves did not appear to have been replicated later.
The dog trade?
The rest is a success story that dogs quickly spread around the world and quickly appeared around the world. Sometimes, you can see that the spread follows human migration, for example when the first dogs followed hunters from Siberia to America during the Ice Age.
In other cases, they appear to have traveled without any signs of emigration.
It is the mystery of how it could have happened, and this causes us to pose questions about human activity during the Stone and Bronze Ages. There may have been a trade in dogs between groups of people, as is the case with ceramics, for example, says Pontus Skoglund.
Science World on November 16 “How dogs conquered the world” revolves around the origin of dogs.