Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So, How Many "Dogs" Would Have To Be On The ARK? Answer: TWO

PARIS (AFP) – Husky, shar pei, terrier or mutt, today's dogs descended from wolves that probably lived in the Middle East, not Europe or Asia as many thought, according to a study published Wednesday in the British science journal Nature.

"Dogs seem to share more genetic similarity with Middle Eastern grey wolves than any other wolf population worldwide," said one of its authors, Robert Wayne, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of California in Los Angeles.

The researchers sequenced the genetic code from more than 900 dogs from 85 breeds and 200 wild grey wolves, including wolves in North America, Europe, the Middle East and East Asia.

They analysed more than 48,000 single genetic markers, seeking areas of comparison that would enable them to build a canine family tree.

Its trunk, they found, is rooted in the Middle East, which concurs with evidence for the remains of dogs found at sites from 13,000 years ago.

Archaeologists have long suspected that domesticated canines were first used in the Fertile Crescent, as early farmers and villagers sought to protect flocks and homes from predators.
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