Dogs Originated in Europe, According to New DNA Evidencethe daily dish
New DNA evidence suggests that dogs were first domesticated in Europe between 19,000 and 32,000 years ago, according to the Associated Press.
The new research is based on DNA taken from the fossils of 18 ancient animals related to dogs and wolves. The fossils were found in Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and the United States. When compared to DNA from modern dogs and wolves, similarities between the ancient animals and the modern canines were revealed.
The findings conflict with previous beliefs that dogs, as we know them, originated in east Asia and the Middle East.
Credit: Del Baston/Center for American Archaeology/AP Photo
Some experts were quick to acknowledge that the new research doesn't mean domesticated dogs didn't also evolve elsewhere, just that Europe played a more significant role than previously thought.
Most scientists agree that dogs evolved from wolves after the animals began to interact with humans, eventually becoming tame. Because the new DNA evidence predates even human agriculture, it suggests that dog evolution occurred while humans still acted as hunter-gatherers, rather than farmers.
15 FASCINATING EXTINCT ANIMALS: