NPR reported this morning that dogs likely descended from Israeli wolves:
To come up with their results, [UCLA researcher Robert] Wayne and his colleagues studied DNA from more than 200 wild gray wolves. "We looked at wolf populations in Europe, the Middle East and East Asia and from China," he says. In each case, they sought out and found genetic markers that were unique to these different wolf populations. So, for example, there were some markers that were only found in Chinese wolves, and others only found in Middle Eastern wolves.
Then they analyzed DNA from more than 900 dogs from 85 breeds, and looked to see which of the wolf markers dogs most closely resembled. It turns out that most dogs shared markers unique to Middle Eastern wolves, although there were some dog breeds that were closer to other wolf populations.
"Many wolf populations may have contributed to the genomic diversity of dogs, but the dominant signal comes from the Middle East," says Wayne. The new research appears in the journal Nature.
Finally: a solid explanation of why Parker wears a yarmulke.