While the finding is subject to debate, German scientists announced that they have used carbon dating to determine the age of a canine jaw found in a cave just across the Swiss border. The bone was unearthed in the late 1800’s, but aging of the 14,000 year-old fragment has renewed a debate about when and where dogs were domesticated.
While this research team claims that the bone is the oldest evidence of domestication—based in part on the spacing and size of teeth—a 37,000 year-old fossil canine skull was unearthed in Belgian caves. The authors of the current study argue that these are wolf skulls, because the remains of many wolves were discovered in the same general area.
In any case, dogs have been a valuable part of human culture for centuries and they remain important to many of us today. Snuggle up with your pooch and read more about the debate surrounding the age of the world’s oldest dog on Discovery News.