Monday, July 21, 2014

Dingos

Dingos are free ranging dogs found mostly in Australia. 


They are ancient domestic dogs that reverted to wild status about 5000 years ago, although some scientists say they may be twice that old. Based on genetic analysis, dingos are descended from only a few dogs, theoretically one pregnant female.  She probably accompanied seafaring explorers from southeast Asia.
Although the largest population is in Australia,
dingos inhabit much of southeast Asia.
Some think dingos originated in Southeast
Asia and were then brought to Australia.  


Dingos weigh between 29 and 44 pounds.  Although they bark like dogs, they howl and whimper more.  Their social behavior is like that of coyotes or wolves.  They live in packs of three to twelve, although some remain solitary and nomadic.  The size of the pack corresponds to the size of the most common food source.  Hunting is opportunistic and scavenging common. A pack consist of one mated pair along with adult offspring. Only the alpha pair successfully reproduce.
Although their coat colors vary, most look like this fella.
The dingo fence (below right), still maintained today, was constructed in the 1880s to protect sheep. It stretches 3488 miles.


Dingos are endangered by hybridization.  Less than 30% of the population is pure due to crossbreeding with domestic dogs.

Read more.



4 comments:

  1. You can see a bit of asian influence in the faces. They seem to have gotten a bad rep since the baby incident.
    I see that as, If I go camping in the US, I would not take my children to areas with wild animals and definitely not in a tent.

    Debbie

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  2. In their defence they are majestic animals and receive too much bad publicity.....unfortunately people leave food out for them, and even feed them in camping areas, with the misguided belief they are doing these animals a favour.....'they look thin, so let's feed them', they become less wary of people and that's when trouble is made - people equals a food source -, and they of course are always blamed......they can't win.......
    The dingo fence is part of our outback psyche, I saw a book years ago about the building and maintanence of 'the fence'...... Thankyou for featuring these wonderful wild dogs.........

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  3. Hi Merilyn - Do you see Dingos on a regular basis like we do coyotes here in California? I live on the outskirts of LA and see coyotes just about every morning. Also, someone asked if people breed Dingos as pets. Does that happen in Australia?

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  4. I live in a semi rural area so don't see dingos much at all, but once you head out into the outback regions they are more common......like most animals in the outback, you see more activity at dawn and dusk when they move around, they tend to shelter during the heat of the day.... when I was living in the outback I saw more dingos in wildlife reserves than in the wild. One wouldn't breed dingos, at least not that I'm aware of, but they do sometimes breed with domestic dogs (of their own accord!) and I have known people to have dogs with 'dingo' in them, one of my work friends has a 'part dingo' dog that she rescued, and he is a wonderful dog.......
    The book I alluded to in my comment is called 'Fence People - Yarns from the Dingo Fence', Dinah Percival & Candida Westney 1989, I bought it when I was living in Broken Hill, had nearly forgotten I had it in my library.....

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