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Is This Prehistoric Puppy Man's First Best Friend?

Was this 18,000-year-old puppy a wolf or a dog? That's the question facing scientists after the recent discovery of the prehistoric creature's body. It had been buried for centuries in frozen mud near Yakutsk, Russia. Researchers believe dogs evolved from wolves sometime between 15,000 and 30,000 years ago, but there's still much they don't know. Now they hope this puppy--named Dogor ("friend" in the local indigenous language)--will help them understand the connection between the two species. So far, they've determined that Dogor was male, but DNA testing has been unable to tell whether he's a wolf or a dog--a sign that he might be a link between the two. His fur, skeleton, teeth, head, lashes, and whiskers are all still intact, giving researchers a window into the past. "It's an amazing feeling," Sergei Fyodorov, of the Mammoth Museum of Russia's North-Eastern Federal University, told The Washington Post, "to see, touch, and feel the history of Earth."

Caption: Dogor was well preserved In permafrost in Siberia. He was likely uncovered now because climate change is causing the permafrost to thaw.

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Title Annotation:THE BIG PICTURE
Publication:New York Times Upfront
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Jan 27, 2020
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Next Article:Cleaning Up the Ocean.

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