The hunt for the origin of dogs

While scientists agree that dogs are descended from wolves, where and when during their human association did domestication occur? 

University of Copenhagen Associate Professor Christy Hipsley describes her recently funded DFF project on dog origins, based on new data collected at the DANFIX imaging center at DTU. Population genomics will be combined with the generated 3D skull models of ancient and modern canids to test the identity of controversial Paleolithic specimens, which if they are true dogs indicate domestication by human hunter- gatherers over 20,000 years earlier than previously recorded. Using radiocarbon dated bones, she will compare genome-phenome associations across the putative proto-dogs, Pleistocene wolves, early definite dogs and their living relatives to identify the spatiotemporal onset of domestication. This dataset, spanning nearly 2,000 individuals and 33,000 years of evolution, offers a powerful opportunity to examine genomic and organismal traits at the individual level, providing new insights into human-animal interactions thousands of years in the past.

Read the full article (only in Danish) here: The hunt for the origin of dogs (