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Five distinct types of dog existed by end of last ice age, study finds

JacksinPA

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Research suggests canines’ varied origins stretch back further – and live on in today’s pets

From tiny chihuahuas to fluffy Siberian huskies, dogs come in all shapes and sizes. But researchers have revealed there is more to canine diversity than meets the eye.

Scientists have found five distinct groups of dogs were already present at the end of the last ice age, and their legacy lives on in our pets today.

“[If] I walk through Wimbledon Common I am pretty likely to run across dogs that all have a little bit [of a] different history, tracing back as far as 11,000 years ago to different corners of the world,” said Dr Pontus Skoglund, co-author of the study and group leader of the ancient genomics laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute in London.

Writing in the journal Science, Skoglund and colleagues report how they sequenced 27 ancient dog nuclear genomes from canines found in Europe, the near east and Siberia, dating from 800 to 11,000 years old.
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Everything living came from a common ancestor.
 
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