Ancient Puppy Found In Permafrost Believed To Be 18,000 Years Old

Researchers found the 18,000-year-old puppy in permafrost with fur, whiskers, and teeth intact.

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Ancient Puppy
Ancient Puppy Found In Permafrost Believed To Be 18,000 Years Old
  • Researchers recently discovered an incredibly well-preserved ancient puppy frozen in permafrost in Yakutsk, Russia.
  • The scientists used carbon dating to determine how old this specimen is. Its age at the time of death but remain perplexed as to whether it’s a wolf or dog.
  • The scientists will conduct additional tests to find out more about the mysterious pup.

Scientists have discovered a beautifully preserved specimen buried in permafrost in eastern Russia, near the capital city of Yakutsk. The dog (or is it a wolf?) is estimated to be around 18,000 years old. Possibly the oldest pup ever found, according to New Scientist.

The research team that uncovered “Dogor” (Yakutian for “friend”) worked in conjunction with the Centre for Paleogenetics. Which carbon dated his rib bones, to determine he was male and approximately two months old when he died. 

But the team behind the discovery is having trouble discerning whether Dogor is a wolf or dog. At least one person on the team believes he’s an ancestor of both species.

“We have a lot of data from [Dogor] already, and with that amount of data, you’d expect to tell if it was one or the other,” David Stanton, a researcher with the Centre, said. “The fact that we can’t might suggest that it’s from a population that was ancestral to both—to dogs and wolves.” 

The researchers discovered Dogor within a lump of frozen mud last year. With exceptionally preserved hair, teeth, whiskers, eyelashes, and a snout, per The Associated Press. That stunning level of preservation is rare. Although it’s becoming more prevalent as we face a continually warming climate. That has exposed several specimens frozen in time for thousands of years. Back in 2018, for example, scientists discovered a wolf head in Siberian permafrost that they estimated to be around 40,000 years old.

Researchers plan to continue conducting genome tests to learn more about the specimen. Right now, Dogor is on display at Russia’s Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk.

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