11 August 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

New study reveals Dog ancestry can be traced back to two separate wolf populations

An international group of geneticists and archaeologists with participation of the University of Potsdam have found that the ancestry of dogs can be traced to at least two populations of ancient wolves.

This finding, published in “Nature” yesterday, means a step forward to solve the question where dogs underwent domestication, which is one of the biggest unanswered questions about human prehistory.

Dogs are known to have originated from the gray wolf, with this domestication occurring during the Ice Age, at least 15,000 years ago. But where this happened, and if it occurred in one single location or in multiple places, is still unknown.

A 32,000 year-old wolf skull from Yakutia from which a 12-fold coverage genome was sequenced as part of the study. Photo: Love Dalén

In their study, published in Nature on 29 June, the researchers turned to ancient wolf genomes to further understanding of where the first dogs evolved from wolves. They analyzed 72 ancient wolf genomes, spanning the last 100,000 years, from Europe, Siberia, and North America. The remains came from previously excavated ancient wolves and included a full, perfectly preserved head from a Siberian wolf that lived 32,000 years ago.

Nine different ancient DNA labs collaborated on generating DNA sequence data from the wolves. One of the labs is situated at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biology at the University of Potsdam. Co-author Ulrike Taron from the Adaptive Genomics Group explains: “Genomic analyses show that both early and modern dogs are genetically more similar to ancient wolves in Asia than to those of Europe, suggesting domestication in eastern Eurasia.“ However, they also found evidence that two separate populations of wolves contributed DNA to dogs.

‘Dogor’, an 18,000 year-old wolf puppy from Yakutia which was included in the study. Photo: Sergey Fedorov

Early dogs from north-eastern Europe, Siberia, and the Americas appear to have a single, shared origin from the eastern source. But early dogs from the Middle East, Africa, and southern Europe appear to have some ancestry from another source related to wolves in the Middle East, in addition to the eastern source.

First author Anders Bergström from the Ancient Genomics lab at the Francis Crick Institute, says: “Through this project we have greatly increased the number of sequenced ancient wolf genomes, allowing us to create a detailed picture of wolf ancestry over time, including around the time of dog origins. By trying to place the dog piece into this picture, we found that dogs derive ancestry from at least two separate wolf populations – an eastern source that contributed to all dogs and a separate more westerly source, that contributed to some dogs.”

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04824-9

Cover Photo : Jessica Rae Peto, The Francis Crick Institute

Banner
Related Post

An artificial intelligence “Ithaca” that will improve our understanding of ancient history

11 March 2022

11 March 2022

A deep neural network trained to restore ancient Greek texts can do so with 72% accuracy when used by historians,...

A first in 35 years! Child grave with bracelets and gifts found in ancient city of Kelenderis

25 June 2022

25 June 2022

During this year’s excavations in the ancient city of Kelenderis, founded on the Mediterranean coast in the southern province of...

The Basilica cistern, which is said to have the sarcophagus of Medusa or the Mysterious Snake Woman, was restored

21 July 2022

21 July 2022

The Basilica Cistern, one of the magnificent ancient structures of Istanbul, was restored. Besides being the greatest work of the...

Archaeologists discover ‘exceptional’ ancient Roman sanctuary in near intact condition in Netherlands

23 June 2022

23 June 2022

Archaeologists have unearthed a relatively intact 1st-century Roman sanctuary in the town of Herwen-Hemeling in the province of Gelderland in...

The Headless Corpses of Somersham was Victims of Roman Executions

30 May 2021

30 May 2021

Excavations at Knobb’s Farm in Somersham, Cambridgeshire, unearthed three small late Roman graves on the outskirts of an agricultural village....

Ceremonial cave site from Postclassic Maya period discovered in Yucatán Peninsula

21 December 2021

21 December 2021

Archaeologists have discovered a ceremonial cave site in Chemuyil on the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, that dates from the Postclassic Maya...

Archaeologists reconstructing how the Assyrian army conquered the ancient Judean city of Lachish 2700 years ago

9 November 2021

9 November 2021

Archaeologists discovered how King Sennacherib’s soldiers constructed the huge siege ramp that enabled them to defeat the Lachish city 2,700...

Excavation of the Temple of Athena Began in the Ancient City of Aigai

15 October 2021

15 October 2021

The foundations of the Temple of Athena were unearthed during the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Aigai, located...

Decapitated skeletons of Roman ‘criminals’ found on HS2 route

5 February 2022

5 February 2022

Archaeologists working with the HS2 project have discovered 425 bodies on the route of the new railway line – around...

40 Skeletons in Giant Jars Found in the Corsica Necropolis

16 May 2021

16 May 2021

Archaeologists working on the French island of Corsica discovered around 40 ancient graves where persons were buried inside gigantic jars...

Earliest Modern Human Genome Identified

7 April 2021

7 April 2021

The fossilized skull of a woman in the Czech Republic provided the oldest modern human genome to date, which has...

Scientists unlock the ‘Cosmos’ on the Antikythera Mechanism

13 March 2021

13 March 2021

Scientists may have finally made a complete digital model of the 2000-year-old Cosmos panel of a mechanical device called the...

Ceremonial meals may have been served in the 4500-year-old structure unearthed in the Yumuktepe Höyük in Southern Turkey

3 November 2021

3 November 2021

A 4,500-year-old structure containing a jar, many pots, and food fossils has been unearthed at the Yumuktepe Höyük (mound) in...

In a Wisconsin lake, archaeologists discover a 1,200-year-old dugout canoe

6 November 2021

6 November 2021

Maritime archaeologists from the Wisconsin Historical Society have discovered a dugout wooden canoe in Lake Mendota, Wisconsin, USA. Carbon analysis...

After 85 years of adventure, Globetrotting Mycenaean gold ring returns home

3 June 2022

3 June 2022

The 3,000-year-old gold Mycenaean ring, stolen from the Rhodes Archaeological Museum during World War II and later bought by a...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.