Great minds think alike. New research suggests that dogs were domesticated separately in both Europe and Asia at different times in history.
So, just where did dogs come from anyway?
When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that an entirely different species has become so closely linked to humans that we treat them like family members and they give us their unconditional love and protection.
But could it be that we love dogs so much that we domesticated them… twice?
Historically, scientists have argued that dogs were domesticated in either one of two places: Europe or East Asia. As it turns out, they might both be right.
A study just published in the June issue of Science posits that all modern dogs are directly related to two or more wolf populations and that humans in two different areas of the world both came to the conclusion that these wolves could be domesticated.
The evidence for this, researchers say, all comes down to good old DNA. The study’s authors were able to extract one ancient dog’s entire genome from an incredibly well-preserved piece of 4,800-year-old inner-ear bone discovered in Ireland.
When they compared this to the mitochondrial DNA of 59 other ancient dogs, they discovered something surprising: an unexpected and deep genetic split between West Eurasian and East Asian dogs.