Australian dingoes differ from dogs


This 2013 video says about itself:

Australia’s wild dog, the dingo, is surrounded by mystery and controversy.

To some people it’s a vicious outlaw, deserving a price on its head. To others it’s creature symbolising wilderness. What is the dingo? Dog or wolf? Native or exotic animal? The documentary Wild Dog Dingo takes a factual look at this remarkable animal and its natural behaviour. Three years in the making, it is the most comprehensive film ever produced on the dingo.

From Flinders University in Australia:

Australian dingo is a unique Australian species in its own right

March 5, 2019

Since the arrival of British settlers over 230 years ago, most Australians have assumed dingoes are a breed of wild dog. But 20 leading researchers have confirmed in a new study that the dingo is actually a unique, Australian species in its own right.

Following previous analyses of dingo skull and skin specimens to come to the same conclusion, these latest findings provide further evidence of specific characteristics that differentiate dingoes from domestic dogs, feral dogs, and other wild canids such as wolves.

The finding that a dingo is a dingo, and not a dog, offers an opposing view compared to a another recent study that the Government of Western Australia used to justify its attempt to declare the dingo as ‘non-fauna’, which would have given more freedom to landowners to kill them anywhere without a license.

Co-author Professor Corey Bradshaw of Flinders University in South Australia says the classification of dingoes has serious consequences for the fragile ecosystems they inhabit, and state governments are required to develop and implement management strategies for species considered native fauna.

“In fact, dingoes play a vital ecological role in Australia by outcompeting and displacing noxious introduced predators like feral cats and foxes. When dingoes are left alone, there are fewer feral predators eating native marsupials, birds and lizards.”

“Dingoes can also increase profits for cattle graziers, because they target and eat kangaroos that otherwise compete with cattle for grass in semi-arid pasture lands”, says Professor Bradshaw.

Lead author, Dr Bradley Smith from Central Queensland University, says the scientific status of the dingo has remained contentious, resulting in inconsistency in government policy.

“The dingo has been geographically isolated from all other canids, and genetic mixing driven mainly by human interventions has only been occurring recently,” Dr Smith says.

“Further evidence in support of dingoes being considered a ‘wild type’ capable of surviving in the absence of human intervention and under natural selection is demonstrated by the consistent return of dog-dingo hybrids to a dingo-like canid throughout the Australian mainland and on several islands.”

“We have presented scientifically valid arguments to support the ongoing recognition of the dingo as a distinct species (Canis dingo), as was originally proposed by Meyer in 1793.”

Dr Smith says little evidence exists to support the notion that any canid species are interchangeable with dingoes, despite the fact that most canids can successfully interbreed.

“There is no historical evidence of domestication once the dingo arrived in Australia, and the degree of domestication prior to arrival is uncertain and likely to be low, certainly compared to modern domestic dogs.”

“We show that dingoes have survived in Australia for thousands of years, subject to the rigours of natural selection, thriving in all terrestrial habitats, and largely in the absence of human intervention or aid.

“The dingo is without doubt a native Australian species,” concludes Professor Bradshaw.

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How prehistoric dogs hunted, new study


This December 2017 video says about itself:

There are many extant wild canids of North America including the gray wolf, the coyote, the hybrid red wolf, the Arctic fox, the gray fox, the red fox, the swift fox and the kit fox.

But North America was once home to many other canid or canid like species which are only known from fossils they have left behind. With exception of ‘’Dire wolf’’ which is a much better known extinct Canid, many other little known species of Canid or Canid-like species are known from scant fossil records and were endemic to North America.

Following are 5 lesser known Canids of Ancient North America you have probably never heard of:

1 — Epicyon (15-5 Million years ago)
2 — Borophagus (12 –2 Million years ago).
3 — Carpocyon (13.6 –5.3 Million years ago).
4 — Aelurodon (16 –5.33 Million years ago).
5 — Canis lepophagus (10.3 –1.8 Million years ago).

From the University of Edinburgh in Scotland:

Skull scans tell tale of how world’s first dogs caught their prey

January 11, 2019

Analysis of the skulls of lions, wolves and hyenas has helped scientists uncover how prehistoric dogs hunted 40 million years ago.

A study has revealed that the first species of dog — called Hesperocyon gregarius — pounced on its prey in the same way that many species, including foxes and coyotes, do today.

The findings also show that the largest dog species ever to live — known as Epicyon haydeni — hunted in a similar way. The animals — which lived from 16 until seven million years ago — could grow to the size of a grizzly bear.

Comparisons between computerised scans of fossils and modern animals have shed light on the hunting methods used by prehistoric members of a group of mammals known as carnivorans. These include modern-day foxes, wolves, cougars and leopards.

Scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Vienna used the scans to create digital models of the inner ears of 36 types of carnivoran, including six extinct species.

The team found that the size of three bony canals in the inner ear — the organ that controls balance and hearing — changed over millions of years as animals adopted different hunting styles.

Faster predators — such as cheetahs, lions and wolves — developed large ear canals that enable them to keep their head and vision stable while ambushing or chasing prey at speed, the team says.

Their findings reveal that inner ear structure indicates whether a species descended from dog-like animals or belongs to one of four families of animals resembling cats. A distinctive angle between two parts of the inner ear is much larger in dog-like animals, the team found.

The study is based on research carried out by Julia Schwab, a current PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, during her MSc studies at the University of Vienna, Austria. It is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Ms Schwab, based in the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, said: “For me, the inner ear is the most interesting organ in the body, as it offers amazing insights into ancient animals and how they lived. The first dog and the largest-ever dog are such fascinating specimens to study, as nothing like them exists in the world today.”

Argentine dog prevents football goal


This 3 December 2018 video about football says about itself:

Dog makes incredible goalline save

Watch the incredible moment a dog stops a shot on the line in an Argentine third division match between Defensores de Belgrano de Villa Ramallo and Juventud Unida.

Prehistoric giant North American dogs


This 28 August 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

The Rise and Fall of the Bone-Crushing Dogs

A huge and diverse subfamily of dogs, the bone-crushers patrolled North America for more than thirty million years, before they disappeared in the not-too-distant past. So what happened to the biggest dogs that ever lived?

African wild dogs and monkey


This video from Sabi Sabi wildlife reserve in South Africa says about itself:

5 December 2017

A pack of wild dogs came across a sick/injured baboon but remained very skeptical and did not eat the baboon.

Dog helps saving New Zealand parrots


This video says about itself:

This Amazing Dog Helps to Save Endangered Parrots | National Geographic Short Film Showcase

2 October 2017

Ajax is a highly trained border collie who helps locate New Zealand’s endangered kea. This elusive alpine parrot lives in some of the most remote regions of the country’s South Island.

Impala between wild dogs and angry hippo


This video from Maasai Mara national park in Kenya says about itself:

Impala stuck between an angry hippo and wild dogs

7 September 2017

Well, believe it or not, the stand-off lasted until after dark. The dogs gave up and the impala emerged from the water unscathed, joining his herd for the night.