Among other findings, Dr Larson said he finds it particularly intriguing that once dogs are domesticated, and even when they sometimes mate with wolves, no new wolf DNA enters their genomes.
In contrast, pigs, for example, were brought to Europe by farmers from Anatolia. But the genes of these early domestic pigs were completely lost, replaced by the genes of European wild boars, even though the pigs remained domestic animals.
Although dogs interbreed, no new wolf genes survive over the years. One possibility, Dr Larson said, is that “wolfiness” just isn’t suitable for an animal as close to people as a dog. Pigs can be a bit wild, but “if you’re a dog and have a bit of a wolf in you, that’s not a good thing and these things hit each other on the head very quickly or run away or just go away.” you are not part of the dog population.
Dr Skoglund said another intriguing and unexplained discovery from the genomic data was the speed at which dogs spread around the world and diversified, so that 11,000 years ago, not only were there five lineages. distinct, but some fossil DNA has also shown that these lines have started to recombine.
“How did it happen?” he said. “In ancient humans, we don’t really know of any human expansion that would have facilitated this, on the order of 15 to 30,000 years ago.
Over the past 11,000 years, he said, the genomes of dogs have shown similar evidence to the human genomes of Anatolian farmers moving to Europe. But then there was the sudden loss of diversity in dogs from around 4000 years old.
Migrations from the steppes have also changed human genomes in Europe, but have virtually no effect on dog genomes. Conversely, the migrations from the steppes to the east have left an imprint on the genomic history of the dog, but not on man.