(Ní Leathlobhair et al., 2018)A new study “The evolutionary history of dogs in the Americas” co-authored by Anna Linderholm of Department of Anthropology has been published in Science and featured in The Eagle. The  authors of the study have found that American dogs were not derived from North American wolves. Instead, American dogs form a monophyletic lineage that likely originated in Siberia and dispersed into the Americas alongside people.

After the arrival of Europeans, native American dogs almost completely disappeared, leaving a minimal genetic legacy in modern dog populations. The study was accomplished by sequencing 71 mitochondrial and 7 nuclear genomes from ancient North American and Siberian dogs from time frames spanning ~9000 years.


Ní Leathlobhair, M., Perri, A. R., Irving-Pease, E. K., Witt, K. E., Linderholm, A., Haile, J., … Frantz, L. A. F. (2018). The evolutionary history of dogs in the Americas. Science, 361(6397), 81–85. doi:10.1126/science.aao4776