Meet the world's oldest dog

Meet the world's oldest dog

The 18,000-year-old puppy was discovered frozen in Siberian permafrost in summer last year.

18 000 dog found
Screenshot: Unilad Online

According to UniLAD, Swedish researchers studied the species for a while and were amazed to find it completely preserved, including the teeth, but they weren't sure if it was a dog or wolf.

Love Dalén, 44, and his colleague Dave Stanton, 34, believe it could be the earliest confirmed dog. They called the animal 'Dogor', a combination of dog and wolf. Even though it’s thousands of years old, and has an exposed rib cage, researchers say it feels like it died recently.

Dalén, a professor of evolutionary genetics, gave his opinion on the discovery by saying: "It was amazingly well preserved even before they cleaned it up. [When we found it] we didn’t know how old it was. They said they found it in the permafrost but it happens that things get frozen in there that are only a few hundred years old or even a few decades.

"We were excited about it but we had a healthy dose of scepticism until we radiocarbon dated it. Obviously, when we got the results that it was 18,000 years old, that changes everything. When we got that result it was amazing. 18,000 years ago is an interesting time period where we think a lot of stuff is happening with both wolves and dogs genetically.

"We cannot separate it from a modern wolf, Pleistocene [Ice Age] wolf or dog. One reason why it might be difficult to say is that this one is right there at the divergence time. So it could be a very early modern wolf or very early dog or a late Pleistocene wolf."

The specimen was found in a remote part of north-east Siberia and remains in Russia while Dalén and Stanton study its rib bone back in Sweden.

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