Dogs have shared a history with humans since we first domesticated the animals nearly 30,000 years ago. And now, a bone fragment from a 1
While sequencing the DNA from bones found in Alaska, a team of researchers at the University at Buffalo came across a fragment of bone from a domestic dog. This bone fragment, which scientists say is part of a dog’s femur, is about 10,150 years old. It is the oldest domestic dog specimen found in America to date.
Domesticated dogs don’t travel without human companions, so scientists at the University at Buffalo theorize that this dog (or its ancestors) traveled to North America with the first wave of human settlers. Previous evidence (or lack thereof) suggested that dogs made it to America through the central continental corridor a few thousand years later.
Further research on this early canine DNA could help us understand early human migration to the American continents, or even uncover genetic connections between Eurasian and American breeds of domestic dogs. The discovery may also bring us closer to early humans on an emotional level – someone owned and cared for this dog 10,000 years before we were born, and they’ve likely gone through the same ups and downs as today’s dog owners.
Source: University of Buffalo via Nerdist