These ancient dogs thrived for thousands of years, but were all but wiped out after contact with Europeans.
Dozens of researchers collaborated for the expansive study.
At this time, the landmasses now known as Russian Federation and North America were not separated by water, but connected by a continuous expanse of land, the Bering Land Bridge.
They also sequenced the nuclear genome (which accounts for 99 per cent of our whole DNA) of seven of the ancient dogs. They were not domesticated from North American wolves but instead padded their way into the Americas from Asia alongside humans at least 10,000 years ago.
"It is known how Indigenous peoples of the Americas suffered from the genocidal practices of European colonists after contact", author Ripan Malhi, an anthropology professor at the University of IL, explains. However, once we added ancient dog samples to this family gathering we found that pre-contact dogs in the Americas, modern Arctic dogs and the elusive CTVT founder animal defined a new major dog "clade" - a genetically distinct group of organisms sharing a common ancestor. Evidence that these dogs were used in sledding, along with suggestions that they were used for hunting and hauling, means that they could have facilitated the early settlement of the Americas.More news: Digital Extremes Partners with Panic Button to Bring Warframe to Switch - Warframe
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National Geographic's Maya Wei-Haas explains that European dogs, like their human owners, probably carried diseases that pre-contact dogs were unequipped to fend off.
The oldest known domestic dog remains in the Americas are approximately 9,900-year-old skeletons in IL.
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"The picture is not as clear as they want it to be", Peter Savolainen, an associate professor in Evolutionary Genetics at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, told Gizmodo.More news: A giant Donald Trump balloon set to fly across Parliament
"Few modern dogs have any trace of these ancient lineages", said Witt, now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Merced.
Dog DNA taken from other ancient sites in the Americas not included in the study has also been found to have more similarities with the chihuahua and other South American breeds than this study did.
An global team of researchers says the only surviving legacy appears to be a cancer that afflicts dogs that arose from the cells of a dog that lived more than 8,000 years ago and has since spread to other canines around the world.
"By looking at genomic data along with mitochondrial data, we were able to confirm that dogs came to the Americas with humans, and that almost all of that diversity was lost - most likely as a result of European colonization", Kelsey Witt, who led the mitochondrial DNA genome research as a graduate student at the University of IL, said in a news release.More news: Germany's Angela Merkel talks up North Atlantic Treaty Organisation role and military spending
"This study demonstrates that the history of humans is mirrored in our domestic animals". However, a trace of these ancient canine remain in the DNA of modern dogs, and it comes in the form of a transmittable cancer.