This puppy with his first set of milky teeth was just two months old when he died, and that happened around 18,000 years ago. The mummified puppy was discovered in a lump of permanently frozen ground (so-called permafrost) near the Indigirka river in the Yakutia region, Siberia, Russia. The permafrost preserved the puppy’s body, muzzle, and even whiskers, eyelashes, and velvety nose.
Samples of the puppy’s genome were sent to the Swedish Centre for Palaeogenetics (CPG), which possesses Europe’s largest DNA bank of all canines – but, surprisingly, the genetic origins of the puppy weren’t discovered on the first try.
Sergey Fedorov, the researcher at the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, who was the first to examine the extraordinary find (and took these pictures), expressed excitement: “This is intriguing, what if it’s a dog? We can’t wait to get results from further tests!” said Fedorov.
The catch here is that, considering the uncertainty in the DNA results, researchers suppose the puppy could be related to the so-called wolfdogs, a possible transition species from wolves to dogs.
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