two things tagged “cool stuff”

An 18,000-year Old Pupper

This is Dogor 🐾, an 18,000-year old puppy preserved in Siberian permafrost. His name means “friend.” He was discovered as a lump of frozen mud near Yakutsk and lies at a private museum.

Dogor left the wilderness as a lump of soil and ice, but scientists could make out the head and paws of what they believed at first to be a young wolf.

Fyodorov told The Washington Post that he carefully cleaned off dirt and debris to reveal near-intact fur — “extremely rare for animals of that time period.”

“It’s an amazing feeling, to see, touch and feel the history of earth,” he said.

– Hannah Knowles and Kayla Epstein, “Ice preserved a tiny puppy in near-perfect condition for 18,000 years. Scientists are fascinated.”, The Washington Post

Other researchers, affiliated with the Centre for Paleogenetics in Stockholm (Twitter), think he could be “part of the evolutionary bridge that turned a fierce wild animal into man’s best friend.”

Testing on a rib bone has revealed the animal’s age: about two months, said Stanton, a postdoctoral scholar who has been working for more than a year on a broader attempt to answer lingering questions about canine history.

The analysis also put Dogor’s short life at a particularly interesting period of time, right around when many wolf lineages were going extinct and dogs are thought to have emerged. Exactly how and when they evolved from wolves is unclear; one recent study estimates between 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.