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18,000-Year-Old Frozen Puppy Found In Ice

Scientists say an 18,000-year-old frozen puppy discovered in Russian Siberia could be the oldest dog ever found.

The male puppy, which was named "Dogor", was dated to be about two months old when it died.

Scientists cleaned the body and found the puppy was preserved astoundingly well, with teeth, fur and nose all intact.

But the discovery has left scientists baffled, with them unable to determine if the canine is a dog or a wolf.

They said the discovery was significant, as the animal could highlight an evolutionary link between wolves and modern dogs.

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Researcher Dave Stanton at the Centre for Palaeogenetics in Sweden told CNN  the animal's species was unable to be determined, but it could descend from a common ancestor of both dogs and wolves.

"We are interested in whether it is in fact a dog or a wolf, or perhaps it's something halfway between the two," Stanton said.

"We have a lot of data from it already, and with that amount of data, you'd expect to tell if it was one or the other."

The well-preserved body of the puppy. Image: The Royal Society

Modern dogs are believed to have descended from wolves, but scientists still don't know when in history this occurred.

A study in 2017 estimated dogs could have evolved from wolves around 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.

Scientists said they will run further tests to try to discover more about the animal's origins.

Contact Eden at egillespie@networkten.com.au