Project PALDOG – Untersuchung einer möglichen Domestikation von Hunden im Paläolithikum durch geometrisch morphometrische…

Basic data

Acronym:
PALDOG
Title:
Untersuchung einer möglichen Domestikation von Hunden im Paläolithikum durch geometrisch morphometrische Analysen an fossilen Überresten, speziell im Hinblick auf Zahnmaterial
Duration:
01/10/2018 to 30/09/2024
Abstract / short description:
The question when and where dogs were domesticated is hotly debated since dog-like canid fossils were discovered in archaeological sites in central and western Europe and southern Siberia. It has been suggested that these fossils represent the very first domestication of dogs around 30,000 years ago. Some authors argue that this domestication is the origin of all modern dogs, with possible admixture of later dog-breeds, probably from Asia. Others suggest that the first domestic dogs went extinct and are not related to modern dogs. The debate continues, because both genetic and morphological studies so far give ambiguous results. This is due to the large variation in modern dog breeds, as well as the fact that the earliest domesticated dogs or "incipient dogs" are expected to still be close to their contemporaneous wolves in morphology and genome.
So far, few studies have applied state-of-the-art geometric morphometric methods to describe the morphology of the Palaeolithic specimens. This project will apply the full range of these methods to describe the morphology of the Palaeolithic specimens in comparison with contemporaneous wolves, as well as more modern to recent dogs and wolves. This way the morphological variation and differences can be quantified, and ideally interpreted in terms of trends and purposes of these changes, whether due to domestication or not. Particular attention will be given to dental remains, because these are the most common in the fossil record and teeth have shown to be very well suited to differentiate between similar (sub-) species. The analyses will be based on micro-computer tomography scans of >100 specimens. Access is already ensured for Palaeolithic specimens from Předmostí, Swabian Alb and Belgium, thus covering the geographic range of the most of the oldest currently known potential Palaeolithic dogs.
The quantitative descriptions of phenotypical variations and similarities between fossil and recent specimens and groups go beyond simply distinguishing "dog" from "wolf", but aim to elucidate trends and patterns in dog domestication and/or Palaeolithic variations in wolves. The project will thus fill the current gap between archaeology and genetic studies on the early domestication of dogs.
Keywords:
Wolf (Canis lupus)
Domestication
Geometric Morphometrics
µCT-Scan
Dental morphology
canis familiaris
dog, Hund

Involved staff

Managers

Department of Geoscience
Faculty of Science

Contact persons

Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen
Palaeobiology Research Area
Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science
Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen
Palaeobiology Research Area
Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science
Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen
Institute of Archaeological Sciences Research Areas (UFG)
Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science
Palaeobiology Research Area
Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science
Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen
Mineralogy and Geodynamics Research Area
Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science

Local organizational units

Department of Geoscience
Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen

Funders

Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
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