Sunday, 24 May 2015

DNA hints at earlier dog evolution

By Pallab Ghosh
Science correspondent, BBC News

21 May 2015
Swedish researchers say that dogs may have been domesticated much earlier than some other studies suggest.

A genetic study indicates that dogs may have begun to split from wolves 27,000 years ago.

The discovery, in Current Biology, challenges the view that dogs were domesticated much more recently, around 15,000 years ago as humans changed from being hunter-gatherers to farmers.

The study might also explain the deep bond between dogs and humans.

[Dogs] are part of our own evolution into a modern societyPeter Smith, Wildwood Trust

Other researchers had proposed that the domestication of dogs arose with the emergence of agriculture, when human hunter-gatherers settled and formed communities.

The new study, which was led by Dr Love Dalen of the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, challenges this view.

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