Origin of Dogs: East Asia 16,000 Years Ago

by Mary Haight on September 1, 2009

Here’s an interesting bit of news. Researchers in Stockholm have pinpointed the origin of dogs, according to Peter Gray Wolf 6a00e54fa1b0a18834010536f8ba2f970bSavolainen, biology researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology. Appearing out of the domestication of wolves, apparently conclusive evidence has been found south of the Yangtze River in China that this area is the “cradle” of the species, coinciding with the shift in the culture from hunters to farmers 16,000 years ago. Savolainen mentioned that findings pointing to this area in 2002 were not well-received due to a lack of detailed evidence.

From this one place, dogs have evolved from “at least several hundred wolves, probably more” according to Savolainen. “The research indicates this [animal] was an important, major part of the culture.” One of the theories explaining why there were such high numbers of wolves in the population,  unlike the development of the later European dog, is that the wolves were also used as food. Read more…

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