Someday between round 29,000 and 14,000 years in the past, hunter-gatherers navigating northern Eurasia’s frigid landscapes turned wolves into canine by feeding them lean-meat leftovers.
That, not less than, is a probable situation that may have benefited each wolves and folks, say archaeologist Maria Lahtinen of the Finnish Meals Authority in Helsinki and colleagues. In harsh Ice Age winters, when recreation hunted by each species was lean and fat-free, prey animals would have offered more protein than humans could safely consume, the researchers conclude January 7 in Scientific Stories. Folks may have fed surplus lean meat to captured wolf pups being raised as pets as a result of the animals wouldn’t have had the identical dietary limitations, the staff proposes.
That concept is essentially primarily based on inferences from earlier analysis on how historic hunter-gatherers survived in arctic environments and new calculations suggesting that, for dietary causes, Ice Age teams couldn’t have eaten all the lean meat that was hunted. Although removed from the ultimate phrase on the controversial origins of dogs (SN: 5/21/15), Lahtinen’s group provides a novel tackle how that course of might have unfolded.
The researchers’ calculations assume that, like some arctic hunter-gatherers right now, historic people acquired 45 % of their energy from animal protein. People can’t eat a totally carnivorous food plan due to the liver’s capability to generate solely a part of our vitality wants from protein. Edible crops may have been saved for the winter as a supply of carbohydrates, however provides would have waned because the annual large freeze wore on, the scientists suspect. So Ice Age hunter-gatherers in all probability reached some extent the place they centered on searching so as to extract fatty marrow and grease from the bones of prey to satisfy vitality wants, the researchers argue, leaving loads of lean meat untouched and obtainable as wolf meals.
Competitors between people and wolves for prey would have declined as generations of pet wolves regularly advanced into canine, the staff hypothesizes. Solely then, the concept goes, had been extra docile canines trained to help people (SN: 3/21/15).