Archeology: the jawbone of a huge dog from 1.8 MILLION years ago with human remains in Georgia

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Is it the first hunting dog in Europe? Jawbone of huge 1.8 MILLION-year-old dog found next to human remains in Georgia

  • Jawbone of young adult Eurasian hunting dog found in Dmanisi
  • Experts have dated the dog’s remains around 1.77 to 1.76 million years ago
  • This predates the widespread dispersal of hunting dogs from Asia to Europe.
  • His findings also suggest dogs lived alongside early humans in Georgia.










The jawbone of a huge dog from 1.8 million years ago has been found next to human remains in Georgia – and may be Europe’s first hunting dog, study finds.

Experts from the University of Florence analyzed freshly collected remains from the archaeological site of Dmanisi, which previously yielded several hominid skulls.

They concluded that the remains belonged to the species Canis (Xenocyon) lycaonoides – the “Eurasian hunting dog” – native to East Asia.

The Dmanisi dog, according to the team, could be the ancestor of African hunting dogs – and likely lived alongside early humans in Georgia before dispersing more widely.

The jawbone of a huge dog from 1.8 million years ago has been found next to human remains in Georgia – and may be Europe’s first hunting dog, study finds. Pictured: An artist’s impression of a pack of Eurasian hunting dogs hunting for prey

The researchers concluded that the remains (pictured) belong to the species Canis (Xenocyon) lycaonoides the

The researchers concluded that the remains (pictured) belong to the species Canis (Xenocyon) lycaonoides – the “Eurasian hunting dog” – native to East Asia

ABOUT DMANISI

Dmanisi is an archaeological site in the Kvemo Kartli region of Georgia.

It dates back 1.8 million years and produced the first direct evidence of the first humans outside of Africa.

These specimens – including several skulls and four skeletons – have been identified as the earliest examples of the species Homo erectus.

The study of the remains of the large dog was undertaken by vertebrate paleontologist Saverio Bartolini-Lucenti of the University of Florence, Italy, and his colleagues.

According to their analysis, the bones date to between 1.77 and 1.76 million years ago, making it the first known case of hunting dogs in Europe.

According to the researchers, it actually predates the widespread movement of hunting dogs from their origin in Asia in the west to Europe and Africa in the mid-Pleistocene era.

Based on the dog’s lack of wear and tear on the Dmanisi dog’s teeth, the researchers concluded that it was a young adult, albeit tall, weighing around 30 kg (66 lbs).

Analysis of the dog’s dental characteristics also showed similarities with other wild dog-like species – the “canids” – of the same period.

They have narrower and shorter third bicuspids than omnivores and an enlarged, pointed “carnassial” tooth in the middle of the jaw that would have been used to shred food.

These characteristics have allowed experts to identify these canines as being very carnivorous, having a diet composed of at least 70% meat.

The Dmanisi dog, according to the team, could be the ancestor of African hunting dogs and likely lived alongside early humans in Georgia before dispersing more widely.  Pictured: An artist's impression of a group of Homo erectus who lived at the Dmanisi site

The Dmanisi dog, according to the team, could be the ancestor of African hunting dogs – and likely lived alongside early humans in Georgia before dispersing more widely. Pictured: An artist’s impression of a group of Homo erectus who lived at the Dmanisi site

Based on the dog's lack of wear and tear on the Dmanisi dog's teeth (pictured), the researchers concluded that it was a young adult, so tall, weighing around 30 kg (66 lbs).

Based on the dog’s lack of wear and tear on the Dmanisi dog’s teeth (pictured), the researchers concluded that it was a young adult, so tall, weighing around 30 kg (66 lbs).

“There is ample fossil evidence to suggest that this species was a cooperative hunter hunter,” the researchers wrote in their article.

“Unlike other large canids, [it] was able to care for both parent and non-parent members of her group.

The full results of the study were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Experts from the University of Florence analyzed freshly collected remains from the archaeological site of Dmanisi, which previously yielded several hominid skulls.

Experts from the University of Florence analyzed freshly collected remains from the archaeological site of Dmanisi, which previously yielded several hominid skulls.

DOGS FIRST BECAME DOMESTIC AROUND 20,000 TO 40,000 YEARS AGO

A genetic analysis of the oldest known dog remains in the world revealed that dogs were domesticated in a single event by humans living in Eurasia around 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.

Dr Krishna Veeramah, assistant professor of evolution at Stony Brook University, told MailOnline: “The process of domestication of dogs was said to have been a very complex process, involving a number of generations in which the dog’s characteristic traits evolved. gradually.

“The current hypothesis is that the domestication of dogs probably occurred passively, with a wolf population somewhere in the world living on the outskirts of hunter-gatherer camps feeding on human-created waste.

“Those wolves that were more tame and less aggressive would have done better, and although humans initially did not benefit from this process, over time they would have developed a kind of symbiosis. [mutually beneficial] relationship with these animals, eventually evolving into the dogs we see today.

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