Scientists puzzled by discovery of pup buried 18,000 years ago

Updated: Dec 01, 2019, 07:42 IST | Agencies | Novosibirsk

Confusion arose among researchers while they were trying to determine whether the 18,000-year-old puppy, which was found in Siberia, is a dog or wolf

Pic courtesy/Sergey Fedorov
Pic courtesy/Sergey Fedorov

Novosibirsk: An ancient Siberian puppy was found preserved just the way it died—when it was only two months old—with its fur, nose and teeth still in entirety in the Russian region.

Confusion arose among researchers while they were trying to determine whether the 18,000-year-old puppy, which was found in Siberia, is a dog or wolf.

While DNA sequencing has proven unsuccessful to determine the species, scientists say it could mean that the specimen represents an evolutionary link between wolves and modern dogs. It was with the help of radiocarbon dating that the age of the puppy could be determined along with details like how old it was when it died and how long had it been frozen for. Another scientific method known as Genome analysis showed that the puppy was male.

"The DNA sequencing issue meant the animal could come from a population that is a common ancestor of both dogs and wolves," researcher Dave Stanton at the Centre for Palaeogenetics in Sweden said. The puppy has been named "Dogor," which means "friend" in the Yakut language.

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