An 18,000-year-old animal found last year in a permafrost tunnel in Siberia could be the oldest dog ever. The ice-age animal was discovered in a perfectly preserved condition in the summer of 2018 by two researchers, Love Dalén and Dave Stanton
When the two-month old animal was discovered in the ice, it still had fur on its body and a perfect set of teeth. In fact, it looked like a recently dead animal. One look at the pictures and you will find it hard to believe that it is 18,000 years old. See for yourself.
Love and Dave began the study in order to figure out if the body is of a dog or a wolf. If it turns out to be a dog, it will be the world’s oldest confirmed dog.
Love, a professor of evolutionary genetics said, It’s pretty special because you’re holding it and it really feels like a very recently dead animal.
But you think about it and this was an animal that lived with cave lions and mammoths and woolly rhinos. So it’s pretty awesome he added.
Earlier, the two scientists thought that the animal was a wolf but after a few tests, they suspected it might be a dog.
I had assumed that what we’d find was that this was a wolf. But we recently got our first round of results on the genome and we can’t say if it’s a dog or a wolf. If it turns out to be a dog I would say it is the earliest confirmed dog, Love said.
Sergey Fedorov, a museum worker in Russsia, carefully cleaned the 18,000-year-old animal. He said, I really carefully removed the dirt and other debris stuck to its body step by step, revealing a wonderful condition fur which is extremely rare for animals of that time period.
Just imagine, this puppy has been lying underground in the same pose and condition for 18,000 years without being disturbed at all, he added.