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科学家:是狗还是狼?

所属教程:科学前沿

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2019年11月28日

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Scientists in Russia have unearthed the frozen remains of an 18,000-year-old canine near Yakutsk in eastern Siberia, but the mysterious origins of the puppy are puzzling.

俄罗斯科学家在西伯利亚东部雅库茨克附近发现了一具1.8万年前犬类的冰冻遗骸,但这只小狗的神秘起源却令人费解。

Despite the fossil being uncommonly well-preserved — with its nose, fur and teeth still intact — geneticists can’t decide one thing: Is the specimen a dog or a wolf?

尽管这具化石保存异常完好——鼻子、皮毛和牙齿仍然完好无损——但遗传学家们无法确定一件事:这个标本是狗还是狼?

科学家:是狗还是狼?

Radiocarbon dating of a rib bone by experts from Sweden’s Centre for Palaeogenetics reveals the animal’s age, but further DNA testing has not definitively confirmed its canine species.

来自瑞典古遗传学中心的专家对一根肋骨进行了放射性碳测年,发现了这只动物的年龄,但进一步的DNA测试还没有最终确定它属于犬类。

“It’s normally relatively easy to tell the difference between the two,” says David Stanton, a researcher at the center.

该中心的研究员大卫·斯坦顿说:“通常来说,很容易就能分辨出两者的区别。”

“We have a lot of data from it already, and with that amount of data, you’d expect to tell if it was one or the other. The fact that we can’t might suggest that it’s from a population that was ancestral to both — to dogs and wolves,” Stanton tells CNN.

“我们已经从它那里获得了大量数据,有了这么多数据,你就能知道是哪一个了。但事实上,我们不能认定为它来自于哪一个祖先——狗或是狼。”斯坦顿告诉CNN。

For now, researchers have dubbed their discovery Dogor, the Yakut word for “friend.”

目前,研究人员将他们的发现命名为Dogor,雅库特语中的“朋友”一词。

科学家:是狗还是狼?

Stanton explains that the period in which Dogor lived is “a very interesting time in terms of wolf and dog evolution.”

斯坦顿解释道,从狼和狗的进化来看,道格生活的时期是一个非常有趣的时期。

“We don’t know exactly when dogs were domesticated, but it may have been from about that time,” he adds. “We are interested in whether it is, in fact, a dog or a wolf, or perhaps it’s something halfway between the two.”

“我们不知道狗是什么时候被驯化的,但可能是从那个时候开始的,”他补充道。“我们感兴趣的是它到底是狗还是狼,或者是介于两者之间。”

Today’s pet pooch is thought to have been tamed from wolf breeds, though scientists can’t exactly pinpoint when that genetic branching took place. A 2017 study in the journal Nature Communications asserts that modern dogs were domesticated from a specific group of wolves who lived 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.

今天的宠物狗被认为是从狼的品种驯化而来,尽管科学家们不能准确地确定这种基因分支发生的时间。《自然通讯》(Nature Communications)杂志2017年发表的一项研究称,现代狗是由生活在2万至4万年前的一群狼驯化而来的。

However, a study published in the journal Science the previous year found that dogs descended from two populations of gray wolves during the Paleolithic period, in both Asia and Europe.

然而,前一年发表在《科学》(Science)杂志上的一项研究发现,狗是旧石器时代亚洲和欧洲两个灰狼种群的后代。


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