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 ...
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