Dogs, wolves diverged genetically before advent of farming

Washington, Jan 18 (IANS/EFE) Dogs and wolves evolved from a common ancestor that went extinct some 15,000 years ago, before the advent of agriculture among humans, according to a new study published in PLoS Genetics.

The traditional view held that modern dogs developed from placid, friendly wolves taken in by early farmers.

“In this study we seek to understand how the domestication of dogs,” one of the authors, Mexican scientist Diego Ortega Del Vecchyo, said.

While some researchers are confident that dogs have lived with humans for 100,000 years, many questions remain about exactly where and how the coexistence began.

“Dogs and wolves diverged genetically roughly 15,000 years ago,” Ortega said. “We also find genetic flux, that is, interbreeding of wolves from Israel and basenji dogs (native to east Africa), and of the wolves of China and the (Australian) dingo, after that divergence.”

–IANS/EFE

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