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Single canine domestication event likely.

Researchers analyzing the DNA of two prehistoric dogs discovered in Germany have determined they were probable ancestors of modern European dogs. This finding, recently published in Nature Communications, suggests the domestication of modern dogs from gray wolves probably occurred 20,000 to 40,000 years ago--once.

This has been an area of controversy. While there's agreement that dogs were the first animal domesticated by humans, when and where that occurred was not clear. Many researchers believe it was in Europe 15,000 years ago. Others believe dogs were domesticated in Asia 12,500 years ago. Then, in 2016, when scientists sequenced the genome of a 5,000-year-old dog from Ireland, it was suggested that dogs were domesticated twice.

"Contrary to the results of this previous analysis (in 2016), we found that our ancient dogs from the same time period were very similar to modern European dogs, including the majority of breed dogs people keep as pets," explained lead researcher Krishna R. Veeramah, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook (N.Y.) University. "This suggests that... there was likely only a single domestication event for the dogs observed in the fossil record from the Stone Age and that we also see and live with today."

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Title Annotation:SHORT TAKES
Publication:Dog Watch
Date:Oct 1, 2017
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