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Then how do we know whence dogs evolved? In the November 22, 2002, Science, Leonard and her colleagues report that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) data from early dog remains "strongly support the hypothesis that ancient American and Eurasian domestic dogs share a common origin from Old World gray wolves."
In the same issue, molecular biologist Peter Savolainen of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and his colleagues note that even though the fossil record is problematic, their study of mtDNA sequence variation among 654 domestic dogs from around the world "points to an origin of the domestic dog in East Asia" about 15,000 years before the present from a single gene pool of wolves.