18,000-year-old puppy found frozen in ice could be the 'oldest confirmed dog' in history
An 18,000-year-old puppy found frozen in ice could possibly be the 'oldest confrimed dog' in history, scientists have said. The body of the puppy was discovered in Siberia in 2018. The body of the animal has been analysed and examined for more than a year by scientists Love Dalen and Dave Stanton. But the pair from Sweden is still not 100% sure if it was a young dog or wolf.
Dalen and Stanton also released some pictures of the animal on social media recently. They have now been circulated on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If the scientists are able to determine the animal to be a dog, it could become the earliest confirmed dog in history. Dalen and Stanton said the discovery can be used to learn more about wolves and when were they domesticated. The pup is 'amazingly well preserved' because of its frozen state. It also sports a full set of teeth, furry cover, and a bald patch on its rib-cage. It has been named ‘Dogor’ as it could be a dog or a wolf.
"It's pretty special because you're holding it and it really feels like a very recently dead animal. But you think about it and this was an animal that lived with cave lions and mammoths and woolly rhinos. So it's pretty awesome. It was amazingly well-preserved even before they cleaned it up,” said Dr Dalen, who is a professor of evolutionary genetics. Dalen added he and Stanton didn't know how old the pup was when they found him in the permafrost. But when they radiocarbon-dated the body, the results revealed it was 18,000 years old. "When we got that result it was amazing. Eighteen thousand years ago is an interesting time period where we think a lot of stuff is happening with both wolves and dogs genetically,” said Dr Dalen. The scientists said their first round of results on the genome couldn't determine clearly if it was a dog or a wolf. But they are confident the final results will be out soon.