Planet China

Barking

With so much that’s seemingly ‘made in China’ these days, you won’t be surprised to hear that it is now claimed China ‘made’ the dog too. Yes, man’s best friend was seemingly ‘invented’ by the Chinese 16,000 years ago in an area south of the Yangtze River. At least that is the verdict of Peter Savolainen and his Swedish colleagues at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Savolainen analysed mitochondrial DNA from 1,500 dogs from around the world to find out when and where tamed wolves became domesticated canines. “For the first time in history it is now possible to provide a detailed picture of the dog including birthplace, point in time and the number of wolves that were tamed,” says Savolainen. On a less happy note, he told the Global Times that the dogs were likely used for herding “but probably ended up as meals for their owners”.


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