The remains of what could be the oldest pet dog ever found have been discovered by researchers from the University of Siena in Italy.
The archaeological remains may be up to 20,000 years old and could reveal key information on the evolution of canines from wolf to dog, according to the Prehistory and Anthropology Research Unit from Siena University’s Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment.
According to the widely accepted theory, domesticated dogs evolved from wolves that transformed from predators to scavengers to ensure their survival, attaching themselves to human settlements to find enough food.
But the role wolves and later, dogs, played in the lives of our ancestors is a question the Siena University research team hopes it will be able to shed new light on.
The remains were found in two Paleolithic caves in the Apulia region in southern Italy. The Paglicci and Romanelli caves near the town of Castro were also inhabited by humans between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago, which indicates that dogs lived side by side with humans in the caves.
The age of the dog remains found by the researchers ranges from 14,000 to 20,000 years old, the high end of which would add another 4,000 years to the known history of the domesticated dog.
“From an archaeological point of view, the oldest…
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