Back in the summer of 2018, scientists found a male puppy buried inside a lump of frozen ground near the Indigirka River, north-east of Yakutsk, Russia. The puppy’s full-body, thick hair, muzzle, and even whiskers and eyelashes were preserved by permafrost.
Scientists deduced that the dog was less than two months old when it died, but the cause of death is not yet determined. The near-perfectly preserved canine is an astonishing 18,000 years old and might be the ‘oldest confirmed dog’ in history. However, after studying it, scientists aren’t sure whether the ‘amazingly well-preserved’ creature is a dog or wolf – presumably because it comes from the point where dogs were domesticated.
Scientists are still unsure whether the canine found is a dog or a wolf
Love Dalén and his colleague Dave Stanton – researchers from Sweden – believe that it could be the earliest confirmed dog. If so, it could be incredibly valuable in learning about the domestication of the wolves. “It was amazingly well preserved even before they cleaned it up. [When we found it] we didn’t know how old it was. They said they found it in the permafrost but it happens that things get frozen in there that are only a few hundred years old or even a few decades,” Love Dalén said.