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Palaeontology

Dogs have lived with humans for 30,000 years

By T.K. Randall
May 22, 2015 · Comment icon 22 comments



Humans and dogs have been close for thousands of years. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Randi Hausken
New evidence suggests that dogs may have been man's best friend for far longer than previously thought.
The relationship we humans share with our canine companions is known to date back tens of thousands of years and has long proven a mutually beneficial arrangement for both species.

A recent new study involving the analysis of an ancient Taimyr wolf bone however may serve to shake up what we know of this age old partnership through the revelation that humans and dogs have been best of friends for far longer than anyone had realized.

The fossil bone, which was found during an expedition to Siberia, has been carbon-dated to around 35,000 years ago and is thought to belong to the first common ancestor of modern wolves and dogs.
"Our study provides direct evidence that a Siberian Husky you see walking down the street shares ancestry with a wolf that roamed northern Siberia 35,000 years ago," said Dr Pontus Skoglund.

The findings also challenge existing theories on how dogs originally became domesticated.

"One scenario is that wolves started following humans around and domesticated themselves," said study leader Dr Love Dalen of the Swedish Museum of Natural History.

"Another is that early humans simply caught wolf cubs and kept them as pets and this gradually led to these wild wolves being domesticated."

Source: BBC News | Comments (22)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by skookum 7 years ago
Can't imagine life without a dog. Even if it is a barmy Boxer.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Jon101 7 years ago
I think that the initial domestication was probably somewhat earlier, it would make sense for wolves to follow human hunters. By circa 30k bp humans would have had a sophisticated culture, ( they are very much fully modern humans at this point), and possessed decent hunting technology such as spear throwers and possibly archery. Man was the most dangerous animal on the planet and by far the most capable hunter - wolf packs would have have soon learned to follow at a distance and scavenge from kills. I can imagine humans killing wolves for food and keeping pups - after all there is little food ... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot 7 years ago
i have a siberian husky, i personally think they domesticated humans lol, if there is any husky owners out there, you know what i am talking about. Yeah, i feel like his slave sometimes But just gotta love their character. Soon i will get female for my dog and then, well, who knows what
Comment icon #16 Posted by Rhino666 7 years ago
Yet there's an article on here called "worlds oldest blood 5,300 years".
Comment icon #17 Posted by Jon101 7 years ago
Yet there's an article on here called "worlds oldest blood 5,300 years". How is this relevant, pray tell?.
Comment icon #18 Posted by PersonFromPorlock 7 years ago
Honestly, I think dogs are far more a "woman's best friend" . I strongly suspect it was cavewomen that domesticated dogs. Didn't Ayla (the Ur-Martha Stewart) do that?
Comment icon #19 Posted by regeneratia 7 years ago
Yes, i read this days ago. Very thoughtful as I proceed to clip my best friend for summer comfort for the first time ever.
Comment icon #20 Posted by regeneratia 7 years ago
Didn't Ayla (the Ur-Martha Stewart) do that? I read that series of books. It is interesting that the dog was the constant. AND also that I have a vague recollection of crying while reading when that dog died. Did it die in the books? I am not sure.
Comment icon #21 Posted by regeneratia 7 years ago
i have a siberian husky, i personally think they domesticated humans lol, if there is any husky owners out there, you know what i am talking about. I had a Siberian Husky once. She was the lead dog for the sled pack. I adored her.
Comment icon #22 Posted by zeek wulfe 7 years ago
Dogs are wonderful animals!


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