Skip to comments.Study Reveals More Clues to Origins of Domesticated Dog
Posted on 11/17/2013 4:22:00 PM PST by SunkenCiv
...based on a recently completed study, Olaf Thalmann of the University of Turku, Finland, and colleagues are suggesting that Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers in Europe as much as 32,000 years ago may have played a significant role in the process. To come to this conclusion, Thalmann and his team compared mitochondrial DNA from a broad range of modern-day dog and wolf breeds to mitochondrial DNA from canine fossils dated to 19,000-32,000 years ago, as well as fossils from modern canines. Their analysis showed that modern dogs genetic sequences most closely matched those of either ancient European canines, including wolves, or modern European dogs, but did not closely match DNA from canines outside of Europe. According to the researchers, this suggests a European origin, and, as only hunter-gatherer populations were present during this period, a domestication that predates the advent of agriculture.
It has been previously thought that fields and crops attracted wolves to villages, leading to interactions with humans that eventually resulted in a cooperative or symbiotic relationship. Human intervention in canine evolution thus produced the variety of modern dog breeds commonly seen today in homes and dog parks throughout the world. But this study, along with clues from other research and excavations, pushes the origins back further to the Palaeolithic Age, when wild wolves may have been drawn to hunter-gatherers, the researchers suggest, because they could feed on carcasses the hunters left behind.
(Excerpt) Read more at popular-archaeology.com ...
A lateral view of a Palaeolithic dog from the Goyet cave (Belgium), calibrated age of 36,000 years Before the Present. Thalmann et al. believe the species represented by this fossil to be an ancient sister-group to all modern dogs and wolves, rather than a direct ancestor. [Image courtesy of Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences]
If I had been around, canines would not have been domesticated....way to needy.
This is very interesting.
They came in handy as a last resort food source, as well.
They give good cuddle on a cold Paleolithic night, too!
This would apply more to cats, who would've been attracted by the rodents eating the grain.
A Paleolithic Canis lupus ate my cave-baby
I picked out a sheet of material like you see in showers that is slick and strong. Had a workman install that wall and she never approached that wall again. She knew she couldn't get through it. I gave her cardboard boxes to dig in the sides of the boxes and she put holes in those boxes.
She never found a mouse or a rat in the holes she dug but I could have told her she wouldn't find any.
When did man invent bacon? Connect the dots! ;^)
I watch that Westminster Kennel Club show every year. I keep hoping that a Weiner dog will leap into the stands and grab someone by the throat. I know....not much chance of that happening. More likely Chihuahuas.
“Before the Present”
Haven’t seen that one before. I thought the current New Age circumlocution to avoid “BC” and “AD” was “BCE” and “CE”. Is “Before the Present” a new and improved way to be hip?
(Interesting thread, BTW, SunkenCiv, and not intending to take the domestication history of canines down a side alley.)
I have the weirdest Chihuahua in the world. Not disposed to be like a Chihuahua at all.
Very sweet, loves people, not overly yippy, and very smart and easy to train. Instead of being suspicious of strangers, if they come in and sit down, she insists on jumping up in their laps and “getting to know them”.
Don’t get me wrong; she can be a pistol, especially when she gets too rambunctious with the cat, but that’s the exception, not the rule.
Plus, she’s twice the size of either of her parents. She weighs almost 20 lbs and she’s not fat at all.
So I would guess we have two competing hypotheses:
A. Farming people domesticated wolf/dogs to help protect their fields.
B. Hunter/gatherers domesticate wolf/dogs to help them find game or other food.
The new evidence favors B for now.
A 20 pound Chihuahua!!! And it’s all muscle!!! My word!!! Are you sure it’s not a Shetland Pony?
without directly saying it, the report suggests (a) domestication of canines occurred earlier in Europe than elsewhere and (b) possibly very very much earlier, and (c) which MAY explain the cultural roots in some Asian societies where eating canines STILL has some adherents today (and was even more common in the past we modern humans know about)
And even some adherents in today's White House.
I would love to see our pansie president try to eat my German Shepard.
He’s far more likely to “present” to your German Shepard (assuming the dog is male)
I know that this is the first time Ive heard it and I don't think anyone seriously believes it. I suspect a confused writer.
She is a beautiful bitch. So the only interest he might have would be culinary.
I would really, really love to see your German Shepard try to eat him!
No harm done. :’)
The BP is related to radiocarbon dating. To make it a little confusing, the “present” is actually 1950, which is the baseline because that’s when RC dating became operational. The original limit wasn’t as large as it is now, but when I was a kid, for example, it was about 45,000 years; refinement of the technique and improvements in sensitivity of the technology pushed that up to 50,000 years, and in the best samples, 60,000 years.
Beyond that, other methods have to be used. And RC dating only works on the organic remains (including ash, bone, hair, mummy bandages, wicker baskets, wooden implements, etc).
I would think that the wolf was domesticated when the mother was killed trying to eat someone’s livestock or children; the pups would be much easier marks for domestication, and are of course adorable (even coyote pups are adorable, but coyotes not so much ;’). That’s the main reason I don’t think there’s much to this result — unless the wolf cubs adopted the hunters, of course. A small group of (quasi-) domesticated wolves would identify with its group of humans, and actually enhance territorial boundaries of a village or other group.
The estimated age of settled agriculture has moved back from about 5500 years (19th c and before) to the 10K figure still often thrown around, but the earliest (uncalibrated, ergo, too low) radiocarbon date for a domesticated barley sample found (I think) in SE Anatolia is 14,000 years BP. That’s just a sample which happens to have survived, it’s easy to imagine that survival of a small sample of a food crop (already perishable) must be a rare event, and that it won’t be surprising when someone finds proxy data of agricultural activity that is much earlier than this.
My view is, we already have it in the form of post holes of a series of structures (a village) dating to about 800,000 years ago, discovered in China. I wouldn’t argue against the raw possibility that hunter-gatherer methods couldn’t support a large population, I’d merely point out that no one has ever shown the least evidence that it ever has.
The precolonial population of North America has to be estimated from the remains of tribal settlements (since they were illiterate apparently, and didn’t take census data and so on), but before European settlement (not counting the probable though transient Viking presence, and more controversially Celts about 1000 years earlier) and the inadvertent introduction of new diseases, the population west of the Mississippi — almost entirely agrarian, in addition to supplemental hunting — was over 40 million; the population of what is now Mexico was over 50 million and almost entirely agrarian (complete with pretty ambitious and varied methods of irrigation, all the way down into the Panamanian isthmus). Corn (maize) domestication appears to have spread outward from Mexico, and its use as food is at least 8700 years old.
If I were to have a dog, I’d probably want some big galoot (I live in the country), but I’ve sometimes found little dogs somewhat beguiling, such as the all-black dachshunds I’ve seen , or the dachshund-chihuahua crosses (they don’t have a stable hybrid outcome last I knew, so they are all over the map for size and other characteristics, going from small enough for the vest pocket to a kind of Jack Russell-plus size).
They would. I prefer cats, but the warm cuddle is generally at their convenience, and for their benefit. As the saying goes, dogs have owners, cats have staff.
Eating dog was also practiced among precolumbian tribes, as a convenient meat supplement, since dogs were kept around to keep the coyotes and probably where applicable the wolves away, particularly in the night. They also served as a warning system for human intruders, which is still a major entry on the dog job description. :’)
You would do very well with a Pitbull, ‘Civ. Perfect for keeping leftists at arm’s length- or just as happy to remove it if they violate your space. Plus he could sniff out and dig up ancient ruins to present you for your amusement.
I have a friend who has a long haired Chihuahua and it weighs 3 1/2 pounds. It is possibly the smalled grown dog I have ever seen and the cutest. It is very calm and sleepy looking, precious dog!
That does go back a ways.
A fuzzy miniature crocodile with an anger management disorder? I doubt the coyotes or bears would put up with that for very long.
I live far out beyond the stalks of The Frozen Tundra on my own little slice of heaven. As an adult Ive always had St Bernards (including a St Dane) but now have a Newfoundland (well, hes 3/4 newfoundland and 1/4 stupid dog). The most important part of finding a "good" dog is finding the breed with a personality to match your own. For example, Im in sync with the giant sized European branch of the Mollosers which most people dislike while I cant stand most of the more common spastic breeds most Americans have like spaniels and labs.
I just noticed you live up here not too far from me somewhere. Out of curiosity, are you a Yooper or a Troll?
Heh, I’m south of The Bridge.
and whoops, that should have been “east of the Mississippi”.
OK, Civ, all this makes a lot of sense. But let’s just say I wouldn’t have wanted to be among the first people to pet my new friend, Mr. Wolf.
That idea first occurred to Fred’s brother, “Lefty” Flintstone.