Birthplace of dogs discovered
Man and dog became the best of buds roughly 16,000 years ago.
Thu, Sep 03, 2009 at 09:32 AM
The time-tested bond between humans and dogs is well-documented, but researchers have puzzled for a long time over where and when our species became so interlocked. Previous studies indicated East Asia as the site where wolves were first tamed, but a new study delves even deeper and reveals even more history of man's best friend. From Science Daily,
These discoveries are presented in an article in the scientific journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, where it is claimed that the dog appeared 16,000 years ago, in Asia, south of the Yangtze River in China. This is a considerably more specific date and birthplace than had previously been put forward.
According to the researchers, taming wolves to work with humans occurred at roughly the same time as people in this part of the world transitioned from hunters and gatherers to farmers. Though a single geographic origin was pinpointed, your yellow lab probably descended from a large number of animals; some several hundred tamed wolves researchers said.
Unfortunately, it appears that the bond between man and wolf/dog was still a bit tenuous. One last piece the researchers discovered was that early dogs probably ended their lives in the stomachs of humans. Remind your own best friend of that particular fact the next time he/she refuses to get the newspaper.
MNN homepage image includes photos from GlobalP/iStockphoto and steamroller_blues/iStockphoto.