An ancient Siberian puppy was found preserved intact just the way it died— when it was only two months old— with its fur, nose and teeth still in entirety in the Russian region, BBC reported.
Confusion arose among researchers while they were trying to determine whether the 18,000-year-old puppy, which was found in Siberia, is a dog or a wolf.
While DNA sequencing has proven unsuccessful to determine the species, scientists say it could mean that the specimen represents an evolutionary link between wolves and modern dogs.
It was with the help of Radiocarbon dating that the age of the puppy could be determined along with details like how old it was when it died and how long had it been frozen for. Another scientific method known as Genome analyses showed that the puppy was male.
“The DNA sequencing issue meant the animal could come from a population that is a common ancestor of both dogs and wolves,” Researcher Dave Stanton at the Centre for Palaeogenetics in Sweden was quoted as saying by CNN.
He added that the research centre already has a lot of data from it and with that amount of data, one can tell if it was one or the other.
Meanwhile, another researcher from the centre, Love Dalen took a Twitter poll and asked whether the specimen is a wolf cub or “possibly the oldest dog ever found”.
The puppy has been named “Dogor,” that means “friend” in the Yakut language. Scientists will continue with DNA sequencing to see what revelations could show regarding the evolution of dogs.
Modern dogs are believed to be descendants of wolves, however, there has been debate revolving whether dogs were domesticated. BBC quoted a study published in 2017 which suggested domestication could have occurred 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.