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18,000-year-old puppy discovered in near-perfect condition in Siberia

Friday, November 29th 2019, 4:17 pm - Some scientists think that this could be the oldest dog ever found.

A two-month-old canine puppy that was born 18,000 years ago has been found in nearly perfect condition within Siberian permafrost and some scientists think that this could be the oldest dog ever found.

The puppy still has its whiskers, eyelashes, nose, and teeth all intact and scientists say that the animal was found in a lump of frozen ground near Yakutsk. It has been named "Dogor", which means "friend" in the Yakut language and is also the start of the question "dog or wolf?"

Researchers have not been able to determine the cause of death but say that the puppy appears to be in distress and snarling. The age of the puppy was determined by radiocarbon dating and genetic testing is being done to determine whether the animal is a wolf cub or dog. Aside from determining that it was male, the researchers have not yet been able to draw any conclusions about its species.

The researchers hope that learning more about the canine’s DNA will add to the current body of knowledge about the evolution of wolves and modern dogs. It is believed that modern dogs are descendants of wolves and there is an ongoing debate over when dogs were domesticated, which could have occurred 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.

This frozen puppy adds to the growing list of well-preserved frozen animals discovered in Siberia. A 40,000 year old wolf head was found perfectly preserved in ice in the region of Yakutia in June, 2019. The fur, teeth, brain, and facial tissue was largely intact and researchers say it’s skull is visibly bigger than that of a modern wolf.

With files from BBC.


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