Most people know that domesticated dogs and wolves share a common evolutionary tree, and that the branches were entangled for quite some time, but nothing drives that home more than a two-month-old canine puppy found in the permafrost of the Belaya Gora site in Siberia.

Is it a dog or a wolf? It was a male and radiocarbon dating gave the age range but DNA sequencing has been unable to determine the species.

Named "Dogor" by the researchers (Yakutian for "friend") has been well preserved for the last 18,000 years, its fur, nose and teeth are all intact. If it is a dog, it would be the oldest discovered so far. Some estimate that dogs began to be domesticated as far back as 40,000 years ago but when they actually diverged is a mystery. A mystery that perhaps this "missing link" can help solve.

Credit: Centre for Palaeogenetics