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Dogs are humans' oldest companions, DNA shows

A study of dog DNA has shown that our "best friend" in the animal world may also be our oldest one.

The analysis shows that dog domestication can be traced back to the last Ice Age and that dogs have adapted to living with people, mirroring changes in humans over thousands of years.

The lead author of the report is Professor Pontus Skoglund, from the Crick Institute in London.

"Using DNA we can go back before written history and see that this bond was close... Dogs have a mutation, a duplication of a gene that makes it easier for them to digest starch, just like humans do. That's likely an adaption to living with humans because wolves don't have it."

(Photo: Boxer dog looks at camera. Credit: Getty Images)

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