If you had to guess how long ago dogs became domesticated, what would be your guess?
300 years? 3,000 years? Try at least 33,000 years.
Scientists have recently discovered two 33,000-year-old dog skulls in Siberia and Belgium with strong hints of loyalty to early humans.
The bone structures of these ancient dogs are more similar to modern-day canines than the wild wolves that are the supposed ancestors of the pets we have today. Through the bone structure similarities, especially the shortened snout, scientists have concluded that the animals found in Siberia and Belgium were domesticated.
The dog skulls that were found also have wider jaws and closer-cropped teeth than wild animals of the era.
With this new piece of valuable evidence, it can be assumed that dogs were probably one of the very first animals to be domesticated. They were most likely used for protection, companionship and maybe even as hunting aids.
But these ancient dogs are probably not the ancestors of our beloved pets of the 21st century.
The skulls that were found date back to before the last ice age, which occurred between 19,000 and 26,000 years ago. The ice from this period disrupted life and more than likely completely eliminated all lineage for both humans and animals alike.
Wow! We always knew the canine-human bond was strong but this new discovery proves that it’s one of the strongest in history! Woof!