Life & Travel > Pets in news > 33,000 Year Old Dog Skull Found, Suggests Human And Dog Relationship

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01/25/2012 22:54:41 PM by K.T.Riffic   Send Message to K.T.Riffic  1778  views, category: Pet pack life, Pets in news view all blogs


Image Credit: Nikolai D. Ovodov

In recent days, a dog skull was found in a Siberian cave. It has been determined that the skull is 33,000 years old. What is even more interesting is, due to the location and other finds, this skull once belonged to a dog that was domesticated by humans.

This is an important find, especially when added to another recent dig that found a dog skull in Belgium. This skull is approximately the same age as the Siberian skull. These two findings suggest humans domesticated dogs in different geographical locations around the same time. This goes against previous arguments where a single event was thought to have brought about the domestication of mans best friend and that modern dogs are descended from a single ancestor.

This can help explain why dog breeds are so different from each other. Take, for example, a husky and a dachshund. They do not look very similar but until recently, it was believed that they had both evolved from the same ancestor.

The Domestication of Dogs
Dog lovers will also like to note the long history of the human/dog relationship. It is now believed that the two species have lived together for over 30,000 years.

When you stop to think about the time and resources it takes to domesticate and animal, you have to wonder why ancient humans would have picked dogs. Animals that make more sense to domesticate include cows, horses, pigs, goats, and sheep. In other words, animals that could provide humans with food or clothing.

Dogs on the other hand, are not usually kept for those purposes. What they could (and still do) provide is protection and companionship. Some dogs were probably also kept to aid in hunting.

Based on these early tests, it is possible that the domestication of dogs may predate the domestication of any other animal by humans.

More From Siberia
All of the evidence found near the location where the dog skull was found and from the skull itself, points to it having been a domesticated dog. Wild dogs (wolves), have longer and more pointed noses and less crowded teeth than domesticated dogs since wild dogs rely much more heavily on their senses for finding food. Dogs that are domesticated no longer have to hunt and fight for food and survival.

The skull was found in the Altai Mountains of Siberia. The skull was remarkably preserved, thanks to its resting place inside a cave.


About the author: Kayleigh has always loved animals and has spent time volunteering at the local dog shelter. The love of her life is her four year old Rottweiler, Lizzie. She enjoys writing for since it combines her love of animals with one of her favor... more >>

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