Prehistoric humans enjoyed hot dogs

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AN ancient dog bone has been discovered in human waste remains. This 9,400 year old canine skull fragment may be the earliest domesticated dog ever found in the Americas. Samuel Belknap III – a University of Maine graduate student – was analyzing human excrement samples obtained nearly 40 years ago in southwest Texas in a study on the eating habits of the people who lived in the region between 1,000 and 10,000 years ago when he discovered the fragment.

Carbon dating confirmed the fossil was more than 9,000 years old and a DNA test determined that it was a dog bone, not a wolf, coyote or fox.

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It orange-brown colour could mean that it passed through a digestive tract; evidence that canines may have been a food source for ancient humans.

“This is an important scientific discovery that can tell us not only a lot about the genetic history of dogs but of the interactions between humans and dogs in the past,” explained Belknap.

“Not only were they most likely companions as they are today, they served as protection, hunting assistants, and also as a food source.”


His findings will be published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

 


 

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