9 Most AMAZING Prehistoric Dogs!
- Published on: 5/27/2020
- Hi, it’s Katrina! Dogs have been our best friend for a long time! But where did they come from? How did this bond start? From giant bear dogs to the earliest remains of domesticated puppies, here are 9 examples of what dogs were like in the past!
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9. Bear Dogs
Amphicyon, better known as the “bear dog,” first appeared in Eurasia between 55 million and 23 million years ago. At this time the Earth was much warmer and chock-full of thick vegetation.
8. Dire Wolf
The dire wolf (Canis dirus) existed in the Americas during the last Ice Age, and is one of the most famous prehistoric carnivores! Between 125,000 and 10,000 years ago, early humans would have been able to hear their howls all over the place.
7. The Gray Wolf Myth
Scientists have long considered domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) to be direct descendants of gray wolves, but this thought process has been called into question several times in recent years. While it’s true that dogs obviously must descend from at least one wild ancestor, their connection to wolves may be less direct or be m0re confusing than we previously thought.
6. Bonn-Oberkassel Dog
In 1914 in Oberkassel, a suburb of Bonn, Germany, workers discovered a grave containing the remains of a man, woman, and dog dating back to around 14,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic era. While all signs pointed toward the dog being a family pet, researchers could only speculate about this until relatively recently.
Officially speaking, the Bonn-Oberkassel dog constitutes the world’s oldest-known domesticated dog remains. Competition for this title came along during the summer of 2018, however, with the discovery of Dogor, a puppy who sat frozen in the Siberian permafrost for around 18,000 years.
4. The Koster Dogs
Modern dogs are unrelated to the first known domesticated dogs in the Americas and their relatives -- which, according to 19th-century explorers, greatly resembled wolves, and howled instead of barked.
3. European Dogs In North America
A 2018 study helped further unravel the confusing evolutionary history of dogs in North America when it found that the European canines who were brought to the continent during the 16th century likely replaced the ancient dogs that were already there.
2. America’s First Dogs
Understanding how ancient American dogs were wiped off the face of the planet doesn’t help to explain where they came from in the first place, but researchers looked to the same place to solve both mysteries: their genetics.
1. Inuit Dogs
As if the dog’s evolutionary history in North America wasn’t confusing enough, there’s more. The Canadian Eskimo dog and the Greenland dog, which are genetically identical, represent a breed of working dog used by Inuits, and which is currently threatened with extinction, with the estimated remaining purebred population numbering 300 or less.
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