Body of nearly 20,000-year-old puppy found perfectly preserved

Photographs released by the Centre for Palaeogenetics show the puppy in an nearly flawless condition, with its nose, whiskers and teeth remarkably intact.

A pint-sized canine was recently unearthed in Siberia, nearly perfectly preserved beneath the frosty surface.

The discovery was made in the summer of 2018, two hours from Belaya Gora, in the Sakha Republic of Russian Federation, by a team of researchers from Centre for Palaeogenetics in Stockholm. However, a battery of genetic tests has failed to determine whether the previously undiscovered species is a dog or a wolf. Early tests of this young specimen didn't return conclusive results one way or the other.

The puppy was discovered a year ago by locals in Yakutia, said Sergey Fedorov, who heads the exposition hall at the Mammoth Museum of Russia's North-Eastern Federal University.

Dogor's rib is now being examined at the Centre for Palaeogenetics in Stockholm, where carbon-dating revealed that he's approximately 18,000 years old.

The male puppy appears to have been just two months old when it died, and lay undisturbed in permafrost until past year, reported the "Siberian Times".

Through genome analysis, they've been able to confirm that the puppy was a male.

The researchers' genome analysis has revealed that the puppy was a male so the scientists, after discussing with their Russian colleagues, have named the puppy "Dogor".

"It's normally relatively easy to tell the difference between the two", David Stanton of the Centre for Palaeogenetics explained in an interview with CNN. "So this could be a very early modern wolf or very early dog, or a late Pleistocene (Ice Age) wolf", he added.

"We still don't know exactly where or when dogs were domesticated, and we don't even know which lineage of wolf dogs were domesticated from", he said.

One study published in 2017 suggests that dogs were domesticated between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago.

The experts believe this may be because the canine comes from the period when dogs were being domesticated, and hope the creature will prove crucial to uncovering when exactly the evolution began. "So that's why it's such a hard problem to work on to understand where and when dogs were domesticated". "If you want to find the answer to that you need to look at ancient samples because the population they were domesticated from doesn't appear to be around anymore".

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