The dogs’ ancestors who lived in the Americas most likely descended from Siberia, as per a new genetic study.
The study further shows that the dogs which lived in the North America as well as Siberia for several thousand years, suddenly vanished but left a kind of cancerous tumor which is still found among canines today.
For the study, the researchers gathered genetic information from dog remains belonging from the Americas and discovered that the ancient dogs arrived to the continent along with people who settled across North, South and Central America. However, later on, these ancient dogs vanished almost after the European settlers arrived and left little or no trace of modern American dog breeds.
The researchers further discovered that when the dogs mated thousands of years ago, they spread a cancerous condition which still continued to be present in the dog descendants today and is probably the last trace of the ancient dogs which came to the Americas.
In a joint statement, the researchers said that it is quite astonishing for the dogs which lived across the entire Americas for several thousand years to have vanished all of a sudden and so rapidly.
The findings further suggest that they do not know the exact reason behind the sudden disappearance yet but the researchers believe that the sudden near disappearance is most likely because of the combined effects of the cancer and the European colonization. However, the ironic twist the researchers got to know from the canine transmissible cancer with the genome of the first American dog in which it first appeared is that it still continues to exist all across the world.
This is one of the biggest twists the researchers have seen so far in any of the project based on canines and it is incredible to know that the ancient American dogs still live through the cancerous cells.
The study is published in the journal Science.