A study based on a bone fragment found while analyzing a dried-out sample of human waste has confirmed that the bone not only came from a domesticated dog, but is 9,400-years-old!
University of Maine graduate student Samual Belknap III made the discovery using carbon-dating tests to determine the age of the bone and using DNA analysis to confirm it came from a dog, not a similar species like a coyote or wolf.
The fragment provides the earliest direct evidence that dogs were used besides security and hunting, but were eaten and maybe even bred as a food source.
It's appalling to imagine eating a dog now, but it shows that dogs are not only mans best friend, but our oldest companion as well.
Some experts believe DNA testing may not be the most reliable method to determine whether this bone actually belonged to a dog since they are so genetically similar with wolves, but for now Belknap's theory seems to be accepted.
Pending revisions, the research paper he completed with other researchers will be published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology later this year.
[Image via AP Images.]