Scientists have recently discovered that it may have been possible that dogs were domesticated not only once but twice. This quite possibly could have occurred in East Asia and Europe. Two specific breeds scientists think were found and domesticated at different times are the German Shepard and the Chinese Shar-pei. The scientists have continued to use DNA to find when and where these different dog breeds came from. It is believed that dogs were domesticated well before the time of herding and farming, which help lead other animals into being domesticated. The scientists believe that many of the breeds originally came from wolves.
Scientists recently dug up a dog thousands of years old in Ireland. The Irish dog still had well conserved DNA in the head behind the temporal lobe. This allowed scientists to extract the DNA and test it. From the DNA the scientists could tell the dog did not have white or black fur, or even spots, but probably fur similar to a wolf. The domesticated Irish Wolfhound today is still very large and does most definitely resemble a wolf. But what is truly interesting is that from the DNA scientists found the dog had enigmatic DNA, meaning the dog did not have any DNA found in other dogs or wolves. By using mitochondrial DNA scientists have also discovered quite possibly how old dogs are.
I find this so interesting because I love dogs and I love to learn about where they came from. I have a pug and I know that he is from China. It's just very cool to see how different dogs are from different areas of the world. Yet, humans can all be traced by to Africa. German shepherds are great for training and it is known that they are used in the police forces and military. On the other hand, dogs like shar-peis (I have a mix) and pugs are not exactly the same and used for other talents. It makes me wonder if it is because of where they were domesticated. I also found it amazing that scientists could take DNA from a dog that was almost five thousand years old! I just find it fascinating that we have the technology and knowledge to continue to learn about evolution and how we got to where we are.
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