According to a study just published, dogs would have followed the first humans to settle on the North American continent from Siberia. To reach this conclusion, the scientists analyzed a fragment of canine bone dating back more than 10,000 years.”
During the last ice age, it was possible to cross the current Bering Strait on foot, because the sea level was low enough. The first humans to settle on the North American continent would have passed through there from Siberia between 30,000 and 10,000 years ago. Dogs would have accompanied them on this journey, says a study published on Wednesday, February 24 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
It was conducted by scientists at the State University of New York at Buffalo, who had studied a fragment of the femur of a dog about 10,150 years old, as reported by Le Figaro.
By analyzing the DNA taken from the piece of bone, they discovered that the animal in question had genetic specificities specific to so-called precontact dogs. In other words, American dogs that were in America before their congeners of European origin, brought by the settlers of the Old Continent.”
” A dog with a marine diet
These same precontact dogs had separated from breeds originating in Siberia about 16,000 years ago. This is precisely in line with the time interval during which the Siberia/North America migration would have taken place by land. The migrants would have taken a coastal route and not a continental one to populate their new destination.”
For Charlotte Lindqvist, an evolutionary biologist who took part in the study, the first human migrations through the region were larger [than they thought].”
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The work also shows that the dog whose bone fragment was analyzed, fed mainly on marine animals; the remains of fish, seals and whales in particular.”