18,000-YEAR-OLD CANID REMAINS

18,000-YEAR-OLD CANID REMAINS

October 13, 2023

18,000-YEAR-OLD CANID REMAINS FOUND IN SIBERIAN PERMAFROST. 

There was great excitement within the Canine scientific community when, in 2018, locals found a frozen, virtually intact puppy in the Siberian permafrost.  

Dogor, meaning “friend” in the Yakut language, was radiocarbon dated 18,000 years old. Unfortunately, the first round of genetic testing was inconclusive; therefore, scientists were unsure whether Dogor was an early modern wolf or a proto-dog.

However, recent genomic sequencing by Dr Dave Stanton from the Queen Mary University of London and Love Dalén from the Centre for Palaeogenetics revealed that Dogor is a male wolf around two months old. Regardless of the animal’s species, finding such a well-preserved intact animal with fur after 18,000 years is still extraordinary.  

Though such discoveries are rare, there have been similar finds in the Sakha Republic of Russia. In 2011, locals found the perfectly preserved body of a 12400-year-old canine puppy near Tumat, Siberia.  In 2015, another 12400-year-old puppy was uncovered, just 2m from where the 2011 mummy was found. Both dogs are believed to be from the same litter. The remains of the 2015 Tumat puppy are so well preserved, including most vital organs and the brain, that Korean scientists are speculating about the possibility of cloning the ancient puppy. Though the chances are slim, it remains an exciting notion. 

READ MORE IN MY BOOK: FROM WOLF TO SUPERMUTT AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN