9,400-Year-Old Dog Bone Found in Texas!
A 9,400-year-old dog bone was found in Texas in 1970s by a University of Maine graduate student Samuel Belknap III during an archeological dig. A carbon-dating test and DNA analysis confirmed that the bone fragment is about 9,400 years old and came from a dog.
Belknap came across the bone while analyzing a dried-out sample of human waste he dug up in southwest Texas four decades ago. But Belknap wasn't researching dogs when he found the 9,400-year-old bone. He was actually studying the diet and nutrition of people who lived in that region of Texas thousands of years ago.
"It just so happens this person who lived 9,400 years ago was eating dog," Belknap said.
"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," Belknap added.
According to Belknap, it's highly likely that there are older dogs in North America.
"If there's one thing our discovery is showing it's that we can utilize these techniques and learn a lot more about dogs in the New World if we apply these tests to all these early samples," Belknap said.
The findings of the research will be published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.