Domesticated Animals

  • Native Americans domesticated dogs

  • All NA dogs were wiped out or interbred with European dogs

  • Genetic material found in mitochondria, the organelles that generate energy for the cell.mtDNA The order of nucleotides in a DNA or RNA molecule, or the order of amino acids in a protein molecule.sequences from remains of pre-Columbian NA dogs (Alaska,Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia) show they originated from Asian dogs who accompanied late Pleistocene humans across the Bering Strait

Mesoamerican dog (with fleas) dated 200 B.C. - 500 A.D.
Mesoamerican dog (with fleas) dated 200 B.C. - 500 A.D.

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Slide 39 of 56


Native Americans had domesticated dogs in their settlements. Nearly all of these dogs were wiped out or interbred with European dogs, which were introduced into the Americas following the arrival of Columbus in 1492. Although no indigenous American dogs exist now, bones from pre-Columbian sites have been studied to examine the genetics of those animals.

Scientists extracted Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA from the bones of 37 dog specimens from archaeological sites in Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia, and 11 dog remains from Alaska, all of which were deposited before the arrival of Columbus in the New World.1 Of or referring to the mitochondria, the organelles that generate energy for the cell.Mitochondrial Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA The order of nucleotides in a DNA or RNA molecule, or the order of amino acids in a protein molecule.sequences isolated from those ancient dog remains from Latin America and Alaska showed that Native American dogs originated from multiple Old World lineages of dogs that accompanied late Pleistocene humans across the Bering Strait.


References Top of page

  1. Leonard JA, Wayne RK, Wheeler J, Valadez R, Guillen S, Vila C. 2002. Ancient Deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.DNA evidence for Old World origin of New World dogs. Science 298:1540-1542.

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