Ice Age: dream couple - in Siberia, people first domesticated wolves and then lived with dogs

Today, Siberia is associated with incredible cold and harsh living conditions.

Ice Age: dream couple - in Siberia, people first domesticated wolves and then lived with dogs

Today, Siberia is associated with incredible cold and harsh living conditions. No wonder that first the Tsar and then Stalin exiled everyone there who did not want to see them again. Things were completely different in the last ice age. While a large part of Western Europe was covered by a hostile ice sheet, life was quite comfortable in a small part of Siberia. Climate data, archaeological finds and DNA evidence show that horses, mammoths and other animals lived there, and they in turn attracted carnivores. People and wolves.

For thousands of years they all existed together in isolation on a survival island and that's where the first dogs were domesticated, says a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers came up with the idea when they compared data on DNA finds from dogs with those from humans. Apparently the first people who reached America via the land bridge between Alaska and Siberia also brought the first dogs with them. The DNA shows that dogs and humans have the same migration and settlement history.

Angela Perri, of Durham University, says that among ancient American dog breeds, "there are two main groups that share a common ancestor about 23,000 years ago." And he came from Siberia. A group of people known as the Old North Siberians mixed with another group from which the Native Americans then split off about 21,000 years ago. And apparently the Northern Siberians gave the later Americans not only genes, but also a few dogs (also read: Why the dog became the most dangerous predator).

Between about 30,000 years ago and 15,000 years ago, people in Siberia had no contact with the outside world. Everything indicates that the ancient northern Siberians were the first people to domesticate wolves during this time, probably because they were attracted by the remains of the hunt. David Meltzer, co-author of the study, says these Siberians lived in small groups of about 25 people in a wide, open landscape. But they were very sociable because they married outside of small groups. "People exchanged information, they exchanged mates, they perhaps exchanged their wolf pups."

"These people probably slept on the floor in furs and roasted meat on the fire," says Meltzer. "If you're a hungry carnivore and you smell a mammoth on the grill, they get curious."

The classic theory of dog domestication says that wolves moved ever closer to human resting places to feed, with the least shy ones evolving over hundreds or thousands of years into the dogs we know today. But for this to work, the range of movement of humans and wolves had to be limited. And that's true on the small green island in Siberia where wolves and humans were trapped together for 15,000 years.

Right now the “Siberian Times” is reporting that the process also works the other way around. Stray dogs left to fend for themselves have returned to the wild. There they hunt in packs like wolves. The photos show them surrounding a group of reindeer and driving them over a cliff.

Quelle: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Also read:

Why the dog became the most dangerous predator

End of a patriarchal myth - women went hunting in the Stone Age

Escape from saber-toothed tigers? Footprints reveal the dangerous journey of a woman with a child

Climate change through genocide - the extermination of the Indians cooled the world

NEXT NEWS