A study, published in May, pointed the origin of domestic dogs in East Asia, but now there is another study that says it could have happened in Europe.
All scientists agreed that wolves are the most similar living animals to dogs, and it is confirmed by both anatomy and DNA, although dogs have now different body shape and behavior.
There were a lot of studies in the last years but they all had different results. In one of the most important studies, some scientists pointed East Asia as the place where dogs were evolved by comparing chinese native dogs and wolves DNA. This year they specified more and pointed the South of China. But this study can be wrong, because dogs in China can come from wolf interbreeding.
The oldest doglike fossils were found in Europe and Siberia, and the new study says they have more than 30.000 years ( There a doglike fossil that has about 36.000 years, but its DNA says it is not a direct ancestor of dogs but an ancient sister-group). Nowadays, we can rescue fragments of DNA from fossils, so Dr. Wayne and his colleagues extracted DNA from fossils in Europe, Russia and the New World. They compared their genes to those from 49 wolves, 77 dogs and 4 coyotes. They found that living dogs are closely related to wolves and ancient ogs in Europe, instead of wolves from Asia. Scientists believe that domestification could have happened in Europe between 18.800 to 32.100 years ago (18.000- 30.000 in the newspaper) when dogs and european hunter-gatherers started interacting.
However, this study is criticized by Dr. Savolainen “because it’s geographically biased” due to the fact that they do not use wolves or fossils from China. Tere is a problem with that, because in the South of China there is too many people, so there is not fossils or wolves there.
I chose this new because I think the evolution, as well as changes experienced by different species over time, is really interesting. I found it interesting that there are so many studies about this, using different methods, and it looks like they all get different results.
About the article, I think we can not be sure of the origin of domestic dogs, because there are many problems with the studies, such as chinese dogs might come from wolf interbreeding or the fact that we have no fossils or wolves in China. I think dogs can also have evolved in different places at a similar time.
Source: New York Times