November 24, 2011

Dog domesticated in SE Asia (claims new study)

random SE Asian pariah dog (source)
The authors describe this region as "Asia South of the Yangtze" (ASY) but I usually call it SE Asia, your call.

The region, specially what they call SW ASY (Indochina, Guangxi and Yunnan) hosts the largest Y-DNA diversity for the domestic variant of the wolf but this is not true of East Asia north of the Yangtze, what may have confused researchers in the past. Instead the Fertile Crescent and Siberia hold the second and third largest diversity figures.

Fig. 1

While five haplotypes have been described, the authors suggest that some 14 male founders are likely. 

Food for thought: if this finding stands (there have been other proposals in the past), considering that dog domestication should be ultimately pre-Aurignacian and considering that there appears to have been a particularly successful branch of the Eurasian humankind which may have originated in SE Asia (Y-DNA mostly MNOPS, mtDNA mostly R) and backflowed across South Asia into the West to conquer the whole subcontinental region to those intelligent and strong cousins: the Neanderthals... the key tech that propelled their success may well have been the dog.

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