Scientists have compared genetic data with existing archaeological evidence and show that man’s best friend may have emerged independently from two separate (possibly now extinct) wolf populations that lived on opposite sides of the Eurasian continent. This means that dogs may have been domesticated not once, as widely believed, but twice.
Combined, these new findings suggest that dogs were first domesticated from geographically separated wolf populations on opposite sides of the Eurasian continent. At some point after their domestication, the eastern dogs dispersed with migrating humans into Europe where they mixed with and mostly replaced the earliest European dogs. Most dogs today are a mixture of both Eastern and Western dogs — one reason why previous genetic studies have been difficult to interpret. More. Paper. (public access) – L. A. F. Frantz, V. E. Mullin, M. Pionnier-Capitan, O. Lebrasseur, M. Ollivier, A. Perri, A. Linderholm, V. Mattiangeli, M. D. Teasdale, E. A. Dimopoulos, A. Tresset, M. Duffraisse, F. McCormick, L. Bartosiewicz, E. Gal, E. A. Nyerges, M. V. Sablin, S. Brehard, M. Mashkour, A. B l escu, B. Gillet, S. Hughes, O. Chassaing, C. Hitte, J.-D. Vigne, K. Dobney, C. Hanni, D. G. Bradley, G. Larson. Genomic and archaeological evidence suggests a dual origin of domestic dogs. Science, 2016; 352 (6290): 1228 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf3161
😉 Some of us think that dogs were simply low-status wolves who found that their talent for loyalty paid off better in a human-run environment.
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How well does Fraser, here, get on with humans? How well would he get on in a wolf pack?