A dog DNA study examining 58 wolf and primitive dog species found that man's best friend evolved about 33,000 years ago, possibly from grey wolves in southeast Africa.
The genome study published this week in the science journal Cell Research
focused on the DNA of 12 grey wolves, 12 indigenous dogs from north China, 11 from southeast Asia, four Nigerian village dogs and 19 specimens of specific breeds in Asia, Europe and the Americas, said The Guardian
After evolving for several thousand years in east Asia, a subgroup of dogs radiated out of southern East Asia about 15,000 years ago to the Middle East, Africa as well as Europe,
researchers said in the study.
"One of these out-of-Asia lineages then migrated back to northern China and made a series of admixtures with endemic east Asian lineages, before travelling to the Americas." the study said.
The international team of scientists who participated in the Cell Research study said the bond between man and dog developed over time.
"The domestic dog, one of our closest companions in the animal kingdom, has followed us to every continent of the world," said the study. "As a single species, the domestic dog embodies one of the largest collections of phenotypic diversity for any species living on earth."
"Due to their cognitive and behavioral abilities, domestic dogs have been selected to fulfill a wide variety of tasks including hunting, herding and companionship. The genetic and historical basis of these phenotypic changes has intrigued the scientific community, including Darwin."
Lead author Peter Savolainen of the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden said while the study could not confirm the birth place of domestic dogs, it was able to fill in other details about its split from wolves, said The Daily Mail
"Our study, for the first time, reveals the extraordinary journey the domestic dog has traveled on this planet during the past 33,000 years," said Savolainen.
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