Posts Tagged ‘dog domestication’

Prey-predator relationships 30,000 years ago

November 26, 2014

New research at the paleolithic Předmostí I archaeological site near Brno in the Czech Republic provides a fascinating picture of the prey-predator relationships of that time.

Thirty thousand years ago, humans had domesticated dogs, they hunted mammoths, bison, musk ox and reindeer. They probably did not herd reindeer extensively in central Europe (but they did in the far north as the ice sheets retreated), but they may have occasionally followed reindeer herds. Mammoth meat clearly had a high value and was not fed to their dogs who – instead – had to make do with reindeer or musk ox meat – presumably controlled and provided by their human owners. But the dogs were probably an important participant in human hunts. Lions preyed primarily on musk oxen and reindeer but not on mammoth or much else. Other predators such as wolves, wolverines and bears ate mammoth (human leavings perhaps), rhinos, horse and bison. That lions and humans hunted musk oxen but not so much bison suggests that the musk ox was a little less aggressive (more stupid?) and easier to hunt than bison.

Simplified prey-predator relationships for prehistoric humans and large mammals in Předmostí I 30,000 years ago, deduced from stable isotopic data. Illustration: Hervé Bocherens with credits to: Wooly mammoth, wooly rhino, horse & cave lion: Mauricio Antón/DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060099, Muskox: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Reindeer: Alexandre Buisse; Wolf: Santiago Atienza; Wolverine: Matthias Kabel; Brown bear: Jean-Noël Lafargue; Dogs: Margo Peron; Bison: Michael Gäbler; Prehistoric man: Hervé Bocherens.

Simplified prey-predator relationships for prehistoric humans and large mammals in Předmostí I 30,000 years ago, deduced from stable isotopic data. Illustration: Hervé Bocherens with credits to: Wooly mammoth, wooly rhino, horse & cave lion: Mauricio Antón/DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060099, Muskox: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Reindeer: Alexandre Buisse; Wolf: Santiago Atienza; Wolverine: Matthias Kabel; Brown bear: Jean-Noël Lafargue; Dogs: Margo Peron; Bison: Michael Gäbler; Prehistoric man: Hervé Bocherens.

 

 

Humans may have started selective breeding 50-60,000 years ago

November 25, 2012

Humans probably started selective breeding – artificial selection – with the domestication of the dog. Dogs diverged from wolves about 100,000 years ago. The earliest skeletal association of wolves with humans is also from about 100,000 years ago. The earliest evidence of an ancestral dog  is from about 32,000 years ago.

It is not implausible that the first exercise of artificial selection is connected with the domestication of the dog and happened 50- 60,000 years ago.

Ancient dog domestication was the start of artificial selection by humans

Sapiens + dogs >> Neanderthals

May 16, 2012

Since this blog will now focus on energy, electricity, environment and climate, I shall now post my comments /views on archaeology, pre-history, anthropology, biology and matters related to the development and evolution of humans  in 6,000 Generations instead:

Was dog domestication the critical advantage for Sapiens over Neanderthalensis

Though fossil evidence of domesticated dogs is very sparse and the earliest is from around 30,000 years ago, there is no certainty about when domestication actually occurred. For it to have been a critical advantage over Neanderthalensis it would have to have started with some form of regular human-canine co-operation – eventually leading to domestication – perhaps some 50,000 years ago.


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