Dogor is the 18,000 year old pup that was found within the Siberian Permafrost, yet is not quite a dog nor a wolf, but a puzzling connection to both.
Dogor has been miraculously preserved within the permafrost, with its fur, teeth and even whiskers incredibly intact. Radiocarbon dating has placed the animal at 18,000 years old and researchers have suggested that the animal passed away at just 2 months old. The name Dogor means “Friend” in Yakut, a language spoken within Eastern Siberia.
Generally, genetic analysis can quite easily discern whether a discovered canine is a wolf or dog, but in this instance, the genetics suggest that it could be an ancestral link to both. Interestingly, Dogor lived at a time in canine evolutionary history when dogs and wolves began to branch off from each other.The general scientific consensus is that dogs and wolves split from a common ancestor, however, the process of how “dogs became dogs” is certainly contested, and Dogor could be a crucial piece in that puzzle.
If Dogor is determined to be a dog, it will be the oldest ever discovered. The next oldest, the Bonn-Oberkassel puppy, was discovered in Germany and was clearly determined to be a dog of around 14,000 years old, buried with a man and a woman.
The progression of climate change is melting the permafrost more rapidly, and discoveries like these are becoming more and more commonplace.
Images via Sergey Fedorov/The Siberian Times
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