Scientists Are Shocked By An 18,000-Year-Old ‘Wolf-Dog’ Puppy Discovered Frozen In Siberia

18,000-Year-Old ‘Wolf-Dog’ Puppy

“We were excited about it but we had a healthy dose of skepticism until we radiocarbon-dated it. Obviously, when we got the results that it was 18,000 years old, that changes everything. When we got that result, it was amazing. 18,000 years ago is an interesting time period where we think a lot of stuff is happening with both wolves and dogs genetically.

We cannot separate it from a modern wolf, Pleistocene [Ice Age] wolf or dog. One reason why it might be difficult to say is because this one is right there at the divergence time. So it could be a very early modern wolf or very early dog or a late Pleistocene wolf,” Love Dalén, a professor of evolutionary genetics, added.

The canine was very well preserved because of the permafrost

Image credits: Sergey Fedorov

The puppy was found in a remote part of north-east Siberia and still remains in Russia, while the researchers Love Dalén and Dave Stanton are studying its rib bone in Sweden. According to Dace Stanton, the dog was so well preserved because it was found in a tunnel dug into the permafrost. The scientists are excited about the discovery as it “might be able to contribute to something that’s been quite a big debate in the field for a long time.”

The Russian scientists named the puppy Dogor

Image credits: Sergey Fedorov

On the 25th of November, the Swedish Centre for Palaeogenetics announced on their Twitter account: “Genome analyses show it’s a male. So we asked our Russian colleagues to name it… Thus, the name of the puppy is Dogor! Dogor is a Yakutian word for “friend”, which seems very suitable.”

And are now waiting impatiently for further test results

Image credits: Sergey Fedorov

Dr. Sergey Fedorov, an ancient canine expert from the North-Eastern Federal University said: “The center has Europe’s largest DNA bank of all canines from around the globe, yet in this case, they could not identify it from the first try. This is intriguing. What if it’s a dog? We can’t wait to get results from further tests.” Referring to the frozen puppy, the scientist said that it was “amazing… to see, touch and feel the history of Earth.”

“Just imagine, this puppy has been lying underground in the same pose and condition for 18,000 years”

Image credits: Sergey Fedorov

“Just imagine, this puppy has been lying underground in the same pose and condition for 18,000 years without being disturbed at all. I really carefully removed the dirt and other debris stuck to its body step by step, revealing a wonderful condition fur which is extremely rare for animals of that time period. The only negative was that the part of the spine was exposed, baring its ribs,” the Russian researcher commented.

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