Scientists have discovered when people began to care about dogs

© Depositphotos / DamedeesoЗевающая dogScientists have discovered when people began to care about dogs© Depositphotos / Damedeeso

. Traces of a chronic viral infection in the remains of a puppy buried with CRO-magnon, indicate that people began to care about their «smaller brothers» almost immediately after their domestication, according to a paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

«If this puppy is not well cared for, always keeping it warm and removing impurity, then he would have died 2-3 week of illness. In addition, the dog in this condition would be absolutely useless for its owner. All this, given the fact that the joint burial of the dog with people, suggests that the unique relationship between people and Pets already existed 14 thousand years ago,» says Luc Janssens (Luc Janssens) of Leiden University (the Netherlands).

It is believed that man domesticated dogs in the stone age, long before the domestication of other animals. The reason for this could be omnivorous ancestors of dogs, able to eat the same food as their neighbors-people. While it remains unclear the time of their domestication — there is fossil evidence as a relatively late (10 to 18 thousand years ago) and early domestication (more than 36 thousand years ago).

In addition, it remains to be seen, someone who «tamed». The ancestors of dogs, like today evolutionists believe, have learned to live near humans because of two things – the ability to digest starch is contained in large amounts in cooked food, and the ability to recognize human emotions and respond to them, in General, imitating the child’s behavior.

Great controversy, says Janssens, begs the question of why people kept dogs in the early stages of their domestication. Some researchers believe that people appreciate them only for their patrol and hunting skills, and considered them as a kind of live tools. Other scientists suggest that dogs really played the role of a «substitute», children and old people, playing a significant role in the social life of their owners.

Janssens and his colleagues have found evidence in favor of the second theory, studying the remains of one of the most famous ancient dog found in the vicinity of Bonn, the German little more than a century ago. The remains of the dog were buried together with the bodies of two CRO-magnon, its putative owners, and for a long time they were considered the most ancient traces of life together, people and dogs until the discovery of bones of older dogs in the Altai.

Dutch scientists re-examined the remains of this animal and made two unexpected discoveries – it turned out that dogs are actually two, and one of them, a six-month old puppy, died of acute viral infection, distemper in dogs.

The disease is deadly for young dogs and about 90% of them die within a week after the first symptoms of the disease when the virus gets into their lungs and causes pneumonia.

In this case, as shown by the study of the teeth of a puppy that did not happen – pet was infected with distemper about 3-4 month of life and lived for about eight weeks of fighting the disease. This unusual fact, according to Janssens, indicates that the owners of the puppy continuously cared for him and supplied him with food and water and cleaning it regularly, skin, nose and other parts of the body secretions and sewage.

Such concern, according to the researchers, suggests that ancient people did not think very utilitarian, considering dogs as «living tools». Apparently, the special relationship between man and his best friend emerged almost immediately after the mutual domestication of people and dogs.