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"The vanishing of the 1st American dogs"

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“It is fascinating that a huge population of dogs that inhabited all corners of the Americas for thousands of years could have disappeared so rapidly.”

"Evidence suggests dogs arrived in the Americas about 10,000 years ago. Some believe the ancient dogs looked a lot like present-day dingos." [above]

"The first dogs in America likely came … with people from Siberia, according to a new study by an international team of researchers.

"The research, which looked at ancient and modern dog DNA, suggests that populations of the so-called pre-contact dogs almost completely disappeared following the arrival of European settlers, leaving little or no trace in more modern American dogs.

"It has long been a matter of dispute whether these first American dogs survived in some form, perhaps only as a portion of the DNA in some breeds or mixed breeds of today’s dogs. But the study, published July 6, 2018 in the peer-reviewed journal Science, overwhelmingly suggests that the pre-contact dogs have disappeared. The evidence found no more than 4 percent of pre-contact dog DNA in any sample.

"Anna Linderholm, assistant professor of anthropology at Texas A&M University, did much of the genome work. She said:

"'The sudden disappearance of dogs in America was probably associated with European colonization, but we don’t know the details yet. This is further evidence of the strong bond between humans and dogs. Humans will bring their dogs to every new place they explore and colonize, regardless of time and space.

"'When we compare our ancient dog DNA to all other known dog/wolf DNA, we find that the closest relatives are the Siberian dogs. This mirrors what we know about humans at the time and sites in Siberia have records of people using dogs then.'"

Read more from Texas A&M:

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Yes, it really is, Heather!


Beautiful creature!


You're welcome, and thanks for your visits and comments, Judy and Gayle.


Something that I had never thought about before. Thanks, Bill.

Bill, I'm with you...never gave it a thought but it seems so likely and so puzzling. Thanks for a fine puzzle and an engrossing mystery. Judy

Yes, he is. We figure there's a lot of shepherd and probably some short-haired collie in the mix - at least he shows all those herding/protecting tendencies. But his coloring and shape are very similar to the dingo - even the triangular eyes.


I know nothing about epidemiology, but it sounds like a possibility, PuzzleUp. Bentley must be a handsome fella!

Well, Europeans brought deadly human diseases with them which wiped out entire Caribbean civilizations and devastated the rest of the Native American (north and south) population - stands to reason, I guess, that their canines might have done the same?

Wish I could post a photo of my current dog, Bentley. Street dog in Mexico, he looks almost exactly like the dingo in your puzzle.


You're welcome, luly. It all seems so obvious, when you think about it, that I wondered why I had never wondered about it before!


This was so interesting to read Bill....thank you so much!

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14 April 2022 - 27 April 2021
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