‘Remarkably Well Preserved' 18,000-Year-Old Canine Baffles Scientists

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 29 November 2019, 12:21 PM
18,000-Year-Old Canine Fossil Baffles Scientists
18,000-Year-Old Canine Fossil Baffles Scientists (Photo Credit : Twitter/@CpgSthlm) )

In a remarkable discovery, scientists in Russia have unearthed the frozen remains of an 18,000-year-old canine near Yakutsk in eastern Siberia in what could as well be one of the most well-preserved canine fossil found. Radiocarbon dating of a rib bone by experts from Sweden’s Centre for Palaeogenetics have been able to find out the age of the animal, however, further DNA testing has not been able to determine the canine species.

“It’s normally relatively easy to tell the difference between the two,” says David Stanton, a researcher at the center.

“We have a lot of data from it already, and with that amount of data, you’d expect to tell if it was one or the other. The fact that we can’t might suggest that it’s from a population that was ancestral to both — to dogs and wolves,” Stanton tells CNN.

This fossil which scientists say could be an ancestor of a dog and wolf have been named, the Yakut word for “friend.”

“We don’t know exactly when dogs were domesticated, but it may have been from about that time,” he adds. “We are interested in whether it is, in fact, a dog or a wolf, or perhaps it’s something halfway between the two’’ Stanton explains.

First Published: Friday, November 29, 2019 12:17 PM
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