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Dogs came to the Americas 10,000 years ago

Austrailian dingo. photo by Angus McNab. used by permission of the photographer

A mitochondrial DNA study carried out on the remains of 84 dogs collected from over a dozen ancient sites has revealed that dogs came to the New World only 10,000 years ago.

In some samples, the team found significant genetic similarities with American wolves, indicating that some of the dogs interbred with or were domesticated anew from American wolves.

But the most surprising finding had to do with the dogs’ arrival in the Americas, Witt said.

“Dog genetic diversity in the Americas may date back to only about 10,000 years ago,” she said.

“This also is about the same time as the oldest dog burial found in the Americas,” Malhi said. “This may not be a coincidence.”

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Story: Diana Yates, University of Illinois | Photo: Angus McNab

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