Old Dogs…New Tricks

The Remains of Ancient Dogs Provide New Insights about Their Life, Death, and our Long-Running Relationship
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Location: 

  • Illinois State Museum, Springfield

Event Venue: 

Thorne Deuel Auditorium

Event Audience: 

Adult
Teen

Fee: 

Free & open to the public

Paul Mickey Science Series
Presented by Michael Wiant, Ph.D, and Dennis F. Lawler, DVM

The discovery of articulated remains of dogs (Canis familiaris) in 8,500 year old deposits at the Koster site substantially changed our understanding of the relationship between wolves and humans.  The articulated remains of four dogs are among the most studied in North America, underscoring not only the importance of scientific research, but also the value of preserving collections for future study.  Research conducted on these remains for the past 40 years and on-going today provide information on the life, death, and our relationship with these long-established companions.

In this joint presentation, Michael Wiant will discuss the excavation of the Koster site, the discoveries of the dog burials, and their historical, cultural, and biological connections. ISM Research Associate Dennis Lawler will use research on modern gray wolves to illustrate the evaluation tools we have to look at bone disease and injury. He will then discuss ancient dog examples, including Koster animals, that show the impact culture and ecology can have on these pathologies and their interpretations.

Each month, the Paul Mickey Science Series features a different speaker and topic in the Auditorium at the Illinois State Museum. For additional information, please contact events@illinoisstatemuseum.org or (217) 558-6696.

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