Dog’s Skull Suggests Man’s Best Friend Dates 33,000 Years

A dog skull that was found by researchers in Siberia dates back 33,000 years ago, which is one of the first indications, along with a similar find in Belgium, that ancestors in the region appreciated domestic pets.

“Both the Belgian find and the Siberian find are domesticated species based on morphological characteristics,” said Greg Hodgins, a researcher at the University of Arizona’s Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory and co-author of a study reporting the find.

“Essentially, wolves have long thin snouts and their teeth are not crowded, and domestication results in this shortening of the snout and widening of the jaws and crowding of the teeth.”

The age of both finds places the domestication of dogs as a companion for hunting and protection before the planets last ice age that occurred between 26,000 and 19,000 years ago, in which it’s lineage did not survive. Indicating there was also more then one attempt at domesticating the animals at different times in history.

“The argument that it is domesticated is pretty solid,” Hodgins said. “What’s interesting is that it doesn’t appear to be an ancestor of modern dogs.”

Hodgins also pointed out that it is interesting that this appears to be the first evidence of domesticating any animal and it was for a companionship and not as a farmed animal like the cow, goat, or so on, to provide meat.

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