From the science journal Nature:
Heritage of Arctic dogs traced in part to canines that immigrated from Siberia more than a millennium ago.
About 1,000 years ago, the ancestors of today’s Inuit people began their swift spread from Alaska all the way to Greenland. Now research has shown that they were accompanied by their sledge dogs — and that those dogs’ genetic legacy lives on in modern breeds such as the Greenland Dog.
Carly Ameen at the University of Exeter, UK, and her colleagues analysed the skulls, teeth and mitochondrial DNA of hundreds of Arctic dogs that lived over a span of almost 5,000 years. Inuit dog skulls dated from 2,000 to 200 years ago resembled those of recent Arctic dogs, but differed from those of dogs that populated the region before the Inuit arrived.
The team’s genetic analysis suggests that the Inuit introduced a new dog population that spread quickly across the Arctic. The dogs probably sped Inuit expansion in the region by enabling sledge travel, the researchers say.
This analysis also shows that modern Arctic dogs descend largely from ancestral Inuit dogs and partly from canines that came with Europeans in the eighteenth century.
“The terror of the Roman arms added weight and dignity to the moderation of the emperors. They preserved peace by a constant preparation for war; and while justice regulated their conduct, they announced to the nations on their confines, that they were as little disposed to endure, as to offer an injury.”
— Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
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