18,000-year-old ice age ‘puppy’ could be world’s oldest

Published on Nov 27, 2019 03:19 PM IST
The 18,000-year-old animal was found in a lump of frozen ground in Siberia.
The 18,000-year-old ice age animal is perfectly preserved.(Twitter/Centre for Palaeogenetics)
The 18,000-year-old ice age animal is perfectly preserved.(Twitter/Centre for Palaeogenetics)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByTrisha Sengupta

The 18,000-year-old animal found in the ice of the Siberian permafrost, in a perfectly preserved condition, could be the world’s oldest dog.

The two-month old canine was found in summer of 2018 in a lump of frozen ground, reports Metro. What stumped the scientists is that it sports a full set of teeth and a fur coat. The preserved animal has whiskers, eyelashes, velvety nose, thick hair, and sharp milk teeth.

It was found by Love Dalén and Dave Stanton. Since then, the duo is studying the animal to determine it’s a dog or a wolf. If it turns out to be a dog, it will be world’s oldest.

The ice age puppy is 18,000-year-old. (Twitter/Love Dalén)
The ice age puppy is 18,000-year-old. (Twitter/Love Dalén)

“It’s pretty special because you’re holding it and it really feels like a very recently dead animal,” Love told Metro. “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.

Initially, the duo thought it’s a wolf but after rounds of tests they became suspicious that it could be a dog too.

“It’s very rare to get specimens that well-preserved. It’s basically been frozen for the last 18,000 years,” he further added.

The preserved animal has whiskers, eyelashes, velvety nose, thick hair, and sharp milk teeth. (Twitter/Centre for Palaeogenetics)
The preserved animal has whiskers, eyelashes, velvety nose, thick hair, and sharp milk teeth. (Twitter/Centre for Palaeogenetics)

Back in June, Russian scientists found the furry head of an Ice Age wolf in Siberian permafrost. The head is about 40,000-year-old.

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