Preserved Puppies from Ice Age May Have Been the First Domesticated Dogs


Researchers in Russia recently finished dissecting the second of two preserved puppies discovered in the Arctic tundra of Siberia’s Yakutia region.

The dissection included the removal of the puppy’s intact brain — a first.

The ancient canid specimens have been dubbed the Tumat dogs, named for the early human settlement close by. The dogs hail from the Pleistocene era, dating back 12,460 years.

“A special research program will be formed to study the brain of Tumat puppy, involving both Russian and foreign institutions,” Sergey Fyodorov, leader of the Tumat puppy project and a researcher at North-Eastern Federal University’s Mammoth Museum, said in a news release.

Researchers continue to debate the domestication of canines — when, where and how it happened.

Were wolves captured or coaxed in their coexistence with humans, or did they come to human caves on their own accord in search of food? Did domestication originate in a singular location and spread or develop concurrently and independently in several locations?

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SOURCE: UPI, Brooks Hays