In 2011, residents of the village of Tumat in northeastern Russia found the body of a puppy in the Siberian tundra. It turned out to be part of a pair of preserved puppies from the Pleistocene era, about 12,460 years ago.

Scientists say that the dogs could be closely related of some of the first domesticated wolves. Additionally, scientist had the rare opportunity to examine the intact brains of the animals.

"Discoveries of this kind of predators of mammoth fauna are extremely rare and can be counted on one hand. They are mummified remains of wolverine from Berelekhsky mammoth "cemetery" (1970), two puppies of the Tumat dog (2011, 2015) and two lion cubs (2015). All of them were found on the territory of Yakutia. There are no other discoveries of well-preserved Pleistocene predators worldwide," researcher Sergey Fyodorov said.

Studying these specimens may help answer questions about how and when dogs and humans first started to partner up.

(VIA)