The hunter-gatherers have lived for a while in their camp, somewhere in Europe during the last ice age some 30 years ago 000th They hunted mammoths and other large animals and had enough meat for the whole clan. The wolves, which swept around the camp, they did not bother. Finally, the animals brought only prey remains, for no one else had used. And when a cave lion or a bear sneaking, alerted the restlessness of the wolves not only their own kind, but also the two-legged hunters. They benefited from each other and accustomed to living together. Or so the wolves were from dogs. The genetic material of living today and the breeds of dog and wolf-like fossils in any case indicates ancestors from Europe, writes an international team led by Olaf Thalmann of the University of Turku, Finland, in the journal “Science”.
This corresponds to a number of fossil discoveries from Europe and Siberia. Archaeologists and paleontologists found for example in the Chauvet cave in the valley of the Ardèche in southern France adjacent to the 26,000 years old footprint of a girl the same age imprints of the feet of a dog or wolf. And in the Goyet Cave in the Belgian province of Namur, researchers discovered the 36,000 years old skull of an animal that is very similar to a dog. Some genetic analyzes recorded yet another picture. It was only about 15 000 years ago people should therefore have tamed wolves – in the East Asia. But actually there are neither in the Middle, still in the Far East fossils of dogs that are older than 13,000 years.
“So far, only small portions of the mitochondrial genome were always analyzed,” says Thalmann. Mitochondria are considered power plants of the cells, they are responsible for the power supply and have their own small genome. To clarify the contradiction between fossil and genetic data, the researchers analyzed the complete genome of the mitochondria of 77 different dogs and 49 wolves from China, Arabia and Europe and four coyotes. They also compared it with the genomes of 18 far more than 10, 000-year-old dog and wolf-like animal remains from Europe.
extant breeds, the researchers were able to share so into four groups. All have European roots. Also, the period for the taming of wolves adjusted the analysis. Not in front of 15 000, but 18800-32100 years ago, wolves were gradually become the friend of man. “The dog comes not from the time the agriculture, which began 10 000 years ago,” says Thalmann.
Rather took over the hunter-gatherer domestication. “If the hunters had killed a mammoth, probably a part of the booty was left,” he says. Maybe the hunters tolerated especially trusting and less aggressive wolves in their area – the first step to the dog. Maybe hunted animals and humans the same prey, and were to a successful team. It is also conceivable that a crashed fighter taunted the puppy wolf.
First, the animals rather hunt colleagues or rest exploiters were certainly near the camps Pleistocene big game hunters. Later they took other roles, for example, protecting “their” hunting party or contributed loads. Than 10 000 years ago, people began to keep livestock, dogs defended the tame herds. Asked for were strong and well-fortified animals. “The modern dog breeds up to Rehpinscher emerged only in recent centuries,” says Thalmann even before he sets off with his dogs in the Finnish forests. Roland Knauer