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The Dog, Mans best freind for 30,000 years

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posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 08:14 PM
A new study pushes back dog domestication to before the LGM, with a specimen from the ever wonderous Altai region of siberia.

The domestication of dogs from the grey wolf is well accepted [1]. However, the timing, location and number of domestication events is still actively debated [2]–[5]. The archaeological record provides unequivocal dog remains beginning about 14,000 calendar years (cy) ago [6]–[7] requiring a domestication that predates agriculture. Putative dog remains ranging in age from 31,000 to 36,000 cy [2] [8]–[9] have been questioned as potentially representing aborted attempts at domestication, or morphologically unique wolves [4]. A full mitochondrial genome analysis of modern dogs suggests an origin in southern China around 16,000 years ago [10], whereas an extensive nuclear genome-wide SNP analysis supports a Middle East and European origin [11], which is more in accordance with archaeological data. Here we isolated, sequenced and analysed 413 nucleotides of the mitochondrial DNA control region from a putative dog specimen dated as approx. 33,000 cy from the Altai Mountains in central Asia. Only a single specimen - namely the Goyet dog (36,000 cy [2]) predates the Altai dog and hence it is thus far the second oldest known specimen assigned morphologically to the domestic dog [8]

Both this siberian dog and the older goyet cave dog, from Belgium both share wolf like and non wolflike morphology.

Here is a snippet of discussion on this find from Dr. Dziebel's anthroblog,

Apparently, God lives in South Siberia and he’s been lately quite busy landing his whip on the backs of arrogant and omniscient scientists. The finding of a 33,000 year-old dog in the Razboinichya Cave in the Altai Mountains ranks next to the discovery of a hominin pinkie in the Denisova Cave and Neandertal remains in the Okladnikova Cave as findings shattering the odd belief of the mainstream science of human origins that it surely has figured out human evolution by the end of 20th century. Not only that the Altai dog doesn’t come from such “priority areas of human evolution” as Europe, West Asia and Africa (see here), but it exceeds the next oldest canine remains by some 20,000 years. What’s especially intriguing is that, outside of the pool of modern dogs from all continents including the New World, it shows greater similarity to pre-Columbian, East Beringian dogs and New World wolves (see below, Fig. 4) he-oldest-dog-news-from-around-the-web/

And from Dr. Hawks' blog, where Dr. Hawks takes a main stream stance regarding this find.

In the current paper, the mtDNA similarity of the Razboinichya canid and pre-Columbian American dogs is pretty persuasive evidence that this specimen came from an early populationancestral to thedogs of northeast Asia, which would later enter the New World. This paleontological specimen shows that the mtDNA phylogeny of modern-day dogs does go way back into the Late Pleistocene, which argues against a single recent domestication. Still, the mtDNA is not the strongest possible source of evidence, since present-day dogs can be found across many of the clades that include mtDNA from wild wolf populations. Curiously, Druzhkova and colleagues did not include the Goyet canids in their mtDNA comparisons. An analysis of 57-bp of the mtDNA of these dogs was carried out by Germonpré and colleagues [2], showingthat the Belgian Upper Paleolithic dogs have a diverse range of mtDNA haplotypes, across several clades of the wolf genealogy. The current paper bases its mtDNA cladogram on 400-bp sequences, so they aren't strictly comparable, but it is nevertheless interesting that the other putative early dogs are not part of this clade including pre-Columbian dogs and the Altai specimen. The earlier description of the Razboinichya canid by Ovodov and colleagues [3] suggested that the specimen was part of an early domestication event that was "arrested" by the Last Glacial Maximum.

You'll have to sort through a few blogs to get to this but its worth it.

So we have to ask ourselves where and how many times was the dog domesticated, its clear that there were multiple domestication events, widely separated in time and geography.

What I find very interesting is that this early dog domestication is in the altai, an area with a deep association with human occupation.
Another interesting thing is that in the case of the altai finds is that thawed dogs seem to be very different physiologically from wolf descended dogs. I recently read an article describing some of these dogs as neo.g more like the prototypical southeast Asian dogs than wolves.

This association with pre-columbian dogs is fascinating, for me namely because last summer a new fossil bed was discovered not far from here. In an interview with the paleontologist, while he was describing what was found he said , they found equids, camleids ,ursids and DOGS.
He made the distinctions between the various members of a family by using the generic terms, equids ,camelids, but instead of using the term canids to denote coyotes or wolves, but specifically said dogs.
The site was dated from 14k to 200k years old.
And wherever you find dogs you find people.

The dog is major player in modern human development, its awsome to see that we have more to learn.

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 08:42 PM
reply to post by punkinworks10

Imagine that, scientists are proven wrong once again
And who was the species to hand them their @##es?
Yay doggies!

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 09:37 PM
reply to post by g146541

Nobody was proven wrong, gaining knowledge is a incremental endeavor, you can't know everything all at onceit has to be learned.

posted on Mar, 21 2013 @ 09:17 AM
reply to post by punkinworks10

It's clearly too long since i studied archaeology, as well as abundantly clear i have spent too much time on ATS recently - when you wrote LGM ... my first though was Little Green Men!

anyway, that to one side, a very interesting OP - here is another article relating this, which was posted on Paleoplanet just over a year ago

Researchers at Sweden's KTH Royal Institute of Technology say they have found further proof that the wolf ancestors of today's domesticated dogs can be traced to southern East Asia -- findings that run counter to theories placing the cradle of the canine line in the Middle East.

Dr Peter Savolainen, KTH researcher in evolutionary genetics, says a new study released Nov. 23 confirms that an Asian region south of the Yangtze River was the principal and probably sole region where wolves were domesticated by humans.

Data on genetics, morphology and behaviour show clearly that dogs are descended from wolves, but there's never been scientific consensus on where in the world the domestication process began. "Our analysis of Y-chromosomal DNA now confirms that wolves were first domesticated in Asia south of Yangtze River -- we call it the ASY region -- in southern China or Southeast Asia", Savolainen says.

The Y data supports previous evidence from mitochondrial DNA. "Taken together, the two studies provide very strong evidence that dogs originated in the ASY region", Savolainen says.

Archaeological data and a genetic study recently published in Nature suggest that dogs originate from the Middle East. But Savolainen rejects that view. "Because none of these studies included samples from the ASY region, evidence from ASY has been overlooked," he says.


there is also an old thread there on a similar subject, mostly re the dogs of america's first peoples etc
and the site of a chap who claims to breed dogs as true as possible to those used by paleo-indians

a very interesting read, thanks for posting

edit on 21-3-2013 by skalla because: typo

posted on Mar, 21 2013 @ 10:09 AM
reply to post by skalla

Hey skalla
Thanks for the links , one might be the article I referenced.
I think the new data shows that at least one domestic dog ancestor is of north American origin.

I think that the dog is also a cultural hallmark of the first circumpolar peoples as well.

posted on Mar, 21 2013 @ 11:02 AM
reply to post by punkinworks10

Hi punkinworks10,

Recently I read an article, maybe 2-3month ago could have linked from an ATS thread about how the development of human society and the survival of man kind over the last 100000years was made possible due to the domestication of our four legged friends. Logically at least the way I logically think this is true, dogs are one of the main reasons we are here today with what we have today.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention


posted on Mar, 21 2013 @ 01:53 PM
interstingly, dogs most likely helped humans out compete neanderthals for game:

Shipman analyzed the results of excavations of fossilized canid bones -- from Europe, during the time when humans and Neanderthals overlapped. Put together, they furnish some compelling evidence that early humans, first of all, engaged in ritualistic dog worship. Canid skeletons found at a 27,000-year-old site in Předmostí, of the Czech Republic, displayed the poses of early ritual burial. Drill marks in canid teeth found at the same site suggest that early humans used those teeth as jewelry -- and Paleolithic people, Shipman notes, rarely made adornments out of animals they simply used for food. There's also the more outlying fact that, like humans, dogs are rarely depicted in cave art -- a suggestion that cave painters might have regarded dogs not as the game animals they tended to depict, but as fellow-travelers.

Shipman speculates that the affinity between humans and dogs manifested itself mainly in the way that it would go on to do for many more thousands of years: in the hunt. Dogs would help humans to identify their prey; but they would also work, the theory goes, as beasts of burden -- playing the same role for early humans as they played for the Blackfeet and Hidatsa of the American West, who bred large, strong dogs specifically for hauling strapped-on packs. (Paleolithic dogs were big to begin with: They had, their skeletons suggest, a body mass of at least 70 pounds and a shoulder height of at least 2 feet -- which would make them, at minimum, the size of a modern-day German Shepherd.) Since transporting animal carcasses is an energy-intensive task, getting dogs to do that work would mean that humans could concentrate their energy on more productive endeavors: hunting, gathering, reproducing.

The possible result, Shipman argues, was a virtuous circle of cooperation -- one in which humans and their canine friends got stronger, together, over time.

man's best friend indeed!

posted on Mar, 22 2013 @ 02:14 AM
reply to post by punkinworks10
Over the years I've come to accept the fact that human evolution has been a wonderful series of lucky advantages and seized opportunities. Those early canids took advantage of us and we returned the favour until we developed a relationship that's ensured our survival.

Burglar alarms, night watchmen, trained killers and warm, cuddly companions. Dogs have pretty much been making up for our own weaknesses for a long, long time.

Even culturally, the dog has been a feature of our myths and legends and even placed in the heavens as the faithful 'Dog Star.'

Nice OP

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