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Scientists said Wednesday that they have found the remains of a domestic dog in America dating back more than 10,000 years, suggesting that the animals were accompanied by the first waves of carcasses. -human settlement.
It is thought that people moved to North America from Siberia across what is today in the Bering Strait at the end of the last Ice Age – between 30,000 and 11,000 years ago.
The history of dogs has been linked to humans since ancient times, and canine DNA analysis can provide a good timeline for human settlement.
A new study led by the University of Buffalo analyzed the mitochondrial DNA of a bone fragment found in Southeast Alaska.
At first the team thought the cookie was made by a bear.
But a closer examination showed that it was part of a female dog that lived in the area around 10,150 years ago, and shared a genetic line with American dogs that lived before European breeds.
“Because dogs are a surrogate for human ownership, our data helps not only time but also a place to bring dogs and humans into America,” said Charlotte Lindqvist, bio- evolutionary expert from the University of Buffalo and the University of South Dakota.
She said the findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, support the theory that the North American people arrived from Siberia.
“Southeast Alaska may have been a stopping place without some kind of ice, and now – with our dog – we believe that early human migration through the area could be much more important than some were. before that, “Lindqvist said.
– Old migrants –
Examination of carbon isotopes on the bone marrow showed that the Southeastern Alaskan dog appeared to have a marine diet that included fish and seals and whales.
Lindqvist said not all North American dogs arrived immediately. Some later arrived from East Asia with the Thule people, and Siberian huskies were introduced to Alaska during the Gold Rush in the 19th century.
There has long been controversy as to whether the first humans entered North America through a continental passage created by the erosion of ice sheets, or on the Pacific coast thousands of years earlier.
Previous age estimates on the remains of dogs younger than the fragment were found by Lindqvist and the team, suggesting that dogs reached the continent in later migrations.
Lindqvist said her findings supported the theory that dogs came to North America among the first waves of human settlers.
“We also have evidence that the coastal edge of the ice sheet began to melt at least around 17,000 years ago, but the inland corridor did not form until about 13,000 years ago,” she told AFP.
“And genetic evidence is most likely a coastal path for the first Americans 16,000 years ago. Our study supports that our coastal dog is a descendant of dogs that participated in this first migration.”
© 2021 AFP