Paleolithic Siberian domestic dog



http://dienekes.blogspot.com/
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From the press release <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120123152528.htm>:

A 33,000-year-old dog skull unearthed in a Siberian mountain cave
presents some of the oldest known evidence of dog domestication and,
together with an equally ancient find in a cave in Belgium, indicates that
modern dogs may be descended from multiple ancestors.

I've been following the dog domestication saga for a few years now; it
seems that geneticists are in general agreement that domestic dogs
share a fairly recent ancestry from East Asia, although there are some
lingering controversies about the role of other dogs in the formation of
modern breeds. On the contrary, there are now two cases of Upper
Paleolithic domesticated dogs, from both Belgium and Siberia. I can't
wrap my head around the idea that dogs that were domesticated more
than 30 thousand years ago, and would -presumably- have plenty of time
to adapt would be /totally/ replaced.

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Like most in the field, Dienekes does not see that
the human/dog (or hominid/canid) relationship is
so mutual as to be close to symbiotic.

Humans in the wild (or hominids for millions of years)
needed dogs/canids for all the extra benefits they
provided -- much better hearing and olfaction. Their
main function would have been as watch-dogs, but
they would often have been indispensable for hunting
down invasive predators. In times of famine, they'd
often have been consumed for food as a final resort.

So the movement from wild canid (wolf, etc.,) to
domesticated dog, would have been a constant
feature. There is almost no point in looking at the
'date of domestication' or estimating its location on
some part of the globe. You might as well study the
origin of a passing cloud. Just don't expect it to
provide you with an account of the origin of every
cloud that ever existed.

Paul.


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