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sheena

Dingoes Are Not A Dog

19 posts in this topic

The author of that article has drawn some overly simplistic conclusions from the study she refers to, I have pasted the abstract for the study below.

Essentially taxonomy (naming species) is a bit of a moving target these days as we learn about the complex relationships between species, they want to differentiate domestic forms as a different species because they are sufficiently different apparently. So while domestic dogs and modern wolves share a great deal of genetic material they diverged many centuries ago, and so the species have gone along different tracks since they originally diverged to now be significantly different, but they still share something like 99.9% of genetic material. The same goes for dingoes which are thought to have diverged from domestic dogs a long time ago. So with time passing and continued divergence the species went their own way, they still share enough genetic characteristics so that they can produce fertile offspring but there are significant enough difference that taxonomists decided they can be considered different species.

Basically they are accurate in saying that the domestic dog did not diverge from the modern wolf but the salient point is that they share enough genetic material that they had a common ancestor. It's all a bit murky hence why it gets confusing when people try to simplify it for the sake of making a statement.

An updated description of the Australian dingo (Canis dingo Meyer, 1793)

Authors

M. S. Crowther,

M. Fillios,

N. Colman,

M. LetnicAbstract

A sound understanding of the taxonomy of threatened species is essential for setting conservation priorities and the development of management strategies. Hybridization is a threat to species conservation because it compromises the integrity of unique evolutionary lineages and can impair the ability of conservation managers to identify threatened taxa and achieve conservation targets. Australia's largest land predator, the dingo Canis dingo, is a controversial taxon that is threatened by hybridization. Since their arrival <5000 yBP (years Before Present) dingoes have been subject to isolation, leading to them becoming a unique canid. However, the dingo's taxonomic status is clouded by hybridization with modern domesticated dogs and confusion about how to distinguish ‘pure’ dingoes from dingo-dog hybrids. Confusion exists because there is no description or series of original specimens against which the identities of putative hybrid and ‘pure’ dingoes can be assessed. Current methods to classify dingoes have poor discriminatory abilities because natural variation within dingoes is poorly understood, and it is unknown if hybridization may have altered the genome of post-19th century reference specimens. Here we provide a description of the dingo based on pre-20th century specimens that are unlikely to have been influenced by hybridization. The dingo differs from the domestic dog by relatively larger palatal width, relatively longer rostrum, relatively shorter skull height and relatively wider top ridge of skull. A sample of 19th century dingo skins we examined suggests that there was considerable variability in the colour of dingoes and included various combinations of yellow, white, ginger and darker variations from tan to black. Although it remains difficult to provide consistent and clear diagnostic features, our study places morphological limits on what can be considered a dingo.

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Ok...so if dingoes are a different species to dogs & not related, the how do they cross breed. ....

Opportunity - or rather lack of opportunity to breed with same species. Something like those creepy zoo people who interbreed lions with tigers (may they rot in hell).

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sheena   

Thanks guys....Maybe they could have explained it a bit better to us "blunt tools", :laugh: but I always thought (obviously wrongly) that animals crossed with different species could not produce offspring & if they did then the offspring would likely be infertile. Some of the guys in that picture have a big resemblance to some of our domestic dogs. The dark one looks like a kelpie, which is now thought to have evolved from collies x dingo, & the white one looks a lot like a white shepherd. Not surprising that they come in different colours, as the fox does.

Edited by sheena

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JulesP   

I wouldn't be believing anything written on a free blog site without further evidence/reading.

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Thanks guys....Maybe they could have explained it a bit better to us "blunt tools", :laugh: but I always thought (obviously wrongly) that animals crossed with different species could not produce offspring & if they did then the offspring would likely be infertile. Some of the guys in that picture have a big resemblance to some of our domestic dogs. The dark one looks like a kelpie, which is now thought to have evolved from collies x dingo, & the white one looks a lot like a white shepherd. Not surprising that they come in different colours, as the fox does.

That is generally the case but as with most rules there are exceptions. This page explains it a bit better.

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_41

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Ok...so if dingoes are a different species to dogs & not related, the how do they cross breed. ....

Opportunity - or rather lack of opportunity to breed with same species. Something like those creepy zoo people who interbreed lions with tigers (may they rot in hell).

Lions and tigers are sufficiently different genetically that they produce infertile offspring so they are still closer to the generally understood definition of species than dingoes and dogs, which do produce fertile offspring. Dingoes, dogs and wolves would be classified as the same species under the basic definition because they all produce fertile offspring (not sure about dingoes x wolves but chances are they would produce fertile offspring), because the morphology (appearance) is significantly different they have been classified as seperate species, so now they are referred to as seperate species, Canis lupis (grey wolf), Canis familiaris (dog) and Canis dingo (dingo) whereas in the past they were all Canis lupis with dogs and dingoes considered a subspecies of the grey wolf.

It's all mainly semantics anyway but I suppose it's useful in terms of management to understand that they do have significant differences which are measurable and consistent across the species, as the original study suggests this is important when looking at the role of the dingo in Australia as opposed to that of wild dogs as there are differences in behaviour as well as morphology and this impacts on their role as predators.

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Weasels   

According to The Taxonomy of Australian Mammals (2015) the dingo is now Canis familiaris. Which makes more sense to me based on phylogeny (its relationship to other canids) and reproduction, than either Canis lupus or Canis dingo.

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Akayla   

Ok...so if dingoes are a different species to dogs & not related, the how do they cross breed. ....

Opportunity - or rather lack of opportunity to breed with same species. Something like those creepy zoo people who interbreed lions with tigers (may they rot in hell).

Lions and tigers are sufficiently different genetically that they produce infertile offspring so they are still closer to the generally understood definition of species than dingoes and dogs, which do produce fertile offspring. Dingoes, dogs and wolves would be classified as the same species under the basic definition because they all produce fertile offspring (not sure about dingoes x wolves but chances are they would produce fertile offspring), because the morphology (appearance) is significantly different they have been classified as seperate species, so now they are referred to as seperate species, Canis lupis (grey wolf), Canis familiaris (dog) and Canis dingo (dingo) whereas in the past they were all Canis lupis with dogs and dingoes considered a subspecies of the grey wolf.

It's all mainly semantics anyway but I suppose it's useful in terms of management to understand that they do have significant differences which are measurable and consistent across the species, as the original study suggests this is important when looking at the role of the dingo in Australia as opposed to that of wild dogs as there are differences in behaviour as well as morphology and this impacts on their role as predators.

Its not that simple with panthera hybrids either. A Liger and a lion have had a cub before (liliger apparently). I think it depends on the cross and the sex of each.

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LisaCC   

Ok...so if dingoes are a different species to dogs & not related, the how do they cross breed. ....

Opportunity - or rather lack of opportunity to breed with same species. Something like those creepy zoo people who interbreed lions with tigers (may they rot in hell).

Lions and tigers are sufficiently different genetically that they produce infertile offspring so they are still closer to the generally understood definition of species than dingoes and dogs, which do produce fertile offspring. Dingoes, dogs and wolves would be classified as the same species under the basic definition because they all produce fertile offspring (not sure about dingoes x wolves but chances are they would produce fertile offspring), because the morphology (appearance) is significantly different they have been classified as seperate species, so now they are referred to as seperate species, Canis lupis (grey wolf), Canis familiaris (dog) and Canis dingo (dingo) whereas in the past they were all Canis lupis with dogs and dingoes considered a subspecies of the grey wolf.

It's all mainly semantics anyway but I suppose it's useful in terms of management to understand that they do have significant differences which are measurable and consistent across the species, as the original study suggests this is important when looking at the role of the dingo in Australia as opposed to that of wild dogs as there are differences in behaviour as well as morphology and this impacts on their role as predators.

Its not that simple with panthera hybrids either. A Liger and a lion have had a cub before (liliger apparently). I think it depends on the cross and the sex of each.

It happens every now and then with true Hybrids. You will once in a blue moon get a fertile mule too, but only in females.

Edited by LisaCC

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Akayla   

Some are more likely to be fertile than others. Well at least that's what I have read. Depending on which sex of which species was crossed. Its actually quite interesting (not advocating hybrids). I know I read a really good study not that long ago but I am not sure I can find it again. However Wikipedia gives the basic idea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panthera_hybrid

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Diva   

Wolves, coyotes and domestic dogs all interbreed in parts of the U.S.

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.... A Liger and a lion have had a cub before (liliger apparently). .....

Yes, marvellous isn't it - just like puppy farmers who then insult both parent lines by making up stupid insulting oodle names and that's supposed to legitimise both of their nasty industries. Yes, prejudiced much.

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JulesP   

I found a place that have a Zebra stallion that they are breeding to various horses and donkeys :eek:

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Akayla   

.... A Liger and a lion have had a cub before (liliger apparently). .....

Yes, marvellous isn't it - just like puppy farmers who then insult both parent lines by making up stupid insulting oodle names and that's supposed to legitimise both of their nasty industries. Yes, prejudiced much.

The names are rather ridiculous. Some I struggle to remember.

I do find some things quite interesting though. Like the snow leopards having lion DNA present, suggesting the interbred at some point in history. Or the growth inhibiter being attached to the particular sex of one but then the opposite of another. Just a shame that animals are often the ones that pay the price and how stupid people are. In some cases the animals are privately owned and the owner doesn't realise until its too late that they can in fact breed or they just tried to separate during the females season unsuccessfully. Sometimes it is in the wild (I wonder if the chances of this has increased with the drop in wild numbers) and sometimes its for money. All of the above still have stupid names.

Edited by Akayla

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Akayla   

I found a place that have a Zebra stallion that they are breeding to various horses and donkeys :eek:

:banghead:

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Years ago (mid-late '70s) I worked in Kenya for a few years, spent lotsa time on the game parks, hence my almost paranoid hatred of most zoos, zoo photography etc. Upper level conservation work fine, the rest bleeeergh.

Anyways, a farm I spent a lot of time at on Mt Kenya bred polo ponies for the British market. One of their sideline incomes was pony trekking on Mt Kenya and camel trekking down on the plains. Their pack mules for the treks were wild caught Grevy's Zebra stallion over polo pony mares. The mules were light gold brown and black stripes, same pattern as zebra but softer colours. Their temperament was horrendous, they were always ready to have a go, and could only be managed by their regular handlers, if a stranger approached they would try to take your face off. One attacked my car and took off the side-mirror in one bite. They were magnificent, larger than either parents, striking lookers. Possibly acceptable as suited for purpose in that setting. Often enough done in other countries as a novelty, just to look at as a curiosity "because they can" it's a scummy thing to do, doesn't make a happy animal.

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Ok...so if dingoes are a different species to dogs & not related, the how do they cross breed. ....

Opportunity - or rather lack of opportunity to breed with same species. Something like those creepy zoo people who interbreed lions with tigers (may they rot in hell).

Lions and tigers are sufficiently different genetically that they produce infertile offspring so they are still closer to the generally understood definition of species than dingoes and dogs, which do produce fertile offspring. Dingoes, dogs and wolves would be classified as the same species under the basic definition because they all produce fertile offspring (not sure about dingoes x wolves but chances are they would produce fertile offspring), because the morphology (appearance) is significantly different they have been classified as seperate species, so now they are referred to as seperate species, Canis lupis (grey wolf), Canis familiaris (dog) and Canis dingo (dingo) whereas in the past they were all Canis lupis with dogs and dingoes considered a subspecies of the grey wolf.

It's all mainly semantics anyway but I suppose it's useful in terms of management to understand that they do have significant differences which are measurable and consistent across the species, as the original study suggests this is important when looking at the role of the dingo in Australia as opposed to that of wild dogs as there are differences in behaviour as well as morphology and this impacts on their role as predators.

Its not that simple with panthera hybrids either. A Liger and a lion have had a cub before (liliger apparently). I think it depends on the cross and the sex of each.

It happens every now and then with true Hybrids. You will once in a blue moon get a fertile mule too, but only in females.

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