The progenitor of modern dogs was an ancient wolf from Asia, geneticists say

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The progenitor of modern dogs was an ancient wolf from Asia, geneticists say
The progenitor of modern dogs was an ancient wolf from Asia, geneticists say
1 July, 14:59SciencePhoto: Current Biology
The researchers reached this conclusion by analyzing DNA obtained from the remains of 72 wolves, the oldest of which are 100,000 years old.

The journal Nature published the work of the Francis Crick Institute in London, the authors of which tried to find the ancestor of modern dogs, reports NewScientist. In the course of the study, scientists compared DNA sequenced from the skeletal remains of 72 ancient wolves, which were found in Europe, Siberia and North America, with the genome of dogs. Some of the remains date back to 100,000 years ago.

The researchers could not find a single progenitor. However, they have received evidence that genetically modern dogs are more similar to ancient wolves from Asia than to European ones. It is not yet possible to clarify the results, there is not enough genetic material for this. Because DNA is better preserved in the cold, most of the samples the team studied were found in the northern hemisphere, in permafrost conditions. But researchers believe that the very direct descendant that will one day be discovered will be found somewhere in Asia.

The results of the new work confirm the speculation that modern dogs may have a dual heritage. It is known that the first dogs that lived in what is now Israel and Africa were relatives of wolves that lived in ancient Europe. In dogs, the remains of which were found in Siberia, America and Europe, this relationship was not found.

This may mean that dogs were independently domesticated in the East and West, and then both populations mixed. Or, dogs were first domesticated in Asia, and then they gave birth to common offspring with wolves from the West. In any case, today's dogs show signs of a double heritage. The oldest dogs found to have this dual origin are 7,000 years old and have been found in Israel.

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