Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Arrival of European dogs nearly wiped out ancient American dogs

Arrival of European dogs nearly wiped out ancient American dogs

Cancer can be frighteningly complex and unpredictable.

Canine transmissible venereal tumors (CTVT) is a genital cancer that is spread between dogs during mating.

Lead archaeologist Dr Angela Perri from Durham University, co-first author on the study, added: "Archaeological evidence has long suggested that ancient dogs had a dynamic history in the Americas, but the fate of these pre-contact dogs and their relationship to modern American dog populations was largely unknown".

All of these tumours are clones - genetically highly similar to one another but genetically distinct from their hound hosts.

CTVT originated in one dog that lived several thousand years ago and the researchers discovered that the first "CTVT founder dog" was a close relative of early American dogs and that the cancer is still spread through breeds today. It's not known when the dogs first arrived.

The analysis revealed that the pre-contact dogs had not a single genetic link with modern American dogs, neither do they have any genetic similarity with the Chihuahuas, Labradors, and Xoloitzcuintli which are supposedly the famous American dog breeds.

Ancient dogs traveled all the way from Siberia to make the Americas their new home, but the arrival of Europeans quickly marked their end. What we found was a huge surprise.

The next step for the team is to reconstruct how the pre-contact dogs may have looked and how they behaved.

"It is known how Indigenous peoples of the Americas suffered from the genocidal practices of European colonists after contact", he said. The dogs were not domesticated North American wolves, as some have speculated, but likely followed their human counterparts over a land bridge that once connected North Asia and the Americas, the study found. This human-canine partnership has been gleaned through bones: The earliest dog remains found in North America were buried almost 10,000 years ago in what is now IL.

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The evolutionary journey of how dogs came to occupy millions of human living rooms is a complicated one, filled with detours and false starts.

The location of where the Bering Land Bridge once connected modern-day Russian Federation and Alaska. And there is some genetic legacy of those ancient North American dogs.

This is the first comprehensive genomic study of ancient dogs in the Americas to analyze nuclear DNA, which is inherited from both parents, along with mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down only from mothers to their offspring.

The data suggest that east, west and Arctic dogs diverged at roughly the same time.

Scientists came to the conclusion that the common ancestor of the Siberian and ancient Indian dogs is a grandparent who lived more than 16 thousand years ago.

The new study dispelled a previous theory about the origin of dogs in the Americas, which posited that they evolved from domesticated wolves.

Scientists seem to have gained some insight into the age old mystery of how ancient American dogs vanished mysteriously from the face of the earth, and it is not at all like how you would expect. They also believed that the Europeans might have killed the pre-contact dogs because they prefer the breed that they brought from their homelands.

A Mexican hairless dog, or xoloitzcuintli. Perhaps even hunted together. "There's a good chance we're going to find out there's more complexity out there".

Dogs have journeyed with us through changing times and cultures and to a large extent their histories reflect our own.

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