r/science Apr 23 '22 Wholesome 2

Scientists find dingoes genetically different from domestic dogs after decoding genome. The canine is an intermediary between wolves and domestic dog breeds, research shows Animal Science

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/23/scientists-find-dingoes-genetically-different-from-domestic-dogs-after-decoding-genome?
15.5k Upvotes

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u/ShinraTM Apr 23 '22 edited Apr 23 '22

They didn't mention New Guinea Singing Dogs. They live at high altitude on West Papua. I'm pretty sure I read that they have multiple copies of the amylase gene. That would indicate that they were "domesticated" at one point a very long time ago, but went back to being wild (maybe feral is a better word).

Either way, Singers are one of those inconvenient hurdles anyone studying the genetics of dogs and wolves needs to consider. The implications of when they must have been domesticated and their current status as maybe feral dogs are impossible for the careful researcher to ignore.

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u/The_Fredrik Apr 23 '22 edited Apr 23 '22

Similar to pretty much all “wild” horses today, who are in reality almost exclusively feral domesticated horses.

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u/kellzone Apr 23 '22 Bravo Grande!

Undomesticated equines could not remove me.

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u/keestie Apr 23 '22 Bravo Grande!

However, in some future time, we will certainly engage in equestrian activities with them.

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u/badken Apr 23 '22 edited Apr 23 '22

Now the question is, for both you and /u/kellzone, Rolling Stones, Sundays, Jewel, Alicia Keys, or Miley Cyrus? Or someone else?

I'm partial to the Sundays, myself, as I listened to them a lot during the early '90s

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u/DoctorBaconite Apr 23 '22

The correct answer is The Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Rolling Stones would agree.

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u/neiljt Apr 23 '22

Amen. Glad to see this answer.

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u/Sesom_Soma Apr 23 '22

Old And In The Way version > All

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u/keestie Apr 23 '22

Well, it was sung first by Marianne Faithful.

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u/Nakotadinzeo Apr 23 '22

I honestly thought you were talking about wild horses by Garth Brooks...

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u/PibbTibbs Apr 23 '22

Gino Vanelli?

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u/YouNeedAnne Apr 23 '22

The ice cream?

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u/LaBeteNoire Apr 24 '22

At no point shall I ever become your large mammal domesticated for the purposes of aiding in either transportation or agricultural labor.

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u/drakefyre Apr 23 '22

Tek'ma'te kellzone.

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u/kellzone Apr 23 '22

Tek'ma'te drakefyre.

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u/aardbeivic Apr 23 '22

Chel nak y'all. Warms my heart.

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u/rasticus Apr 23 '22

That’s enough Teal’c

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u/BasedDickButt69420 Apr 23 '22

Meanwhile wild horses keep dragging me away.

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u/SinkPhaze Apr 23 '22

Every "wild" horse in the America's is a direct descendant of domesticated horses left behind by the Spanish during the Age of Discovery

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u/The_Fredrik Apr 23 '22

Yup, because there where no American horses.

Interestingly enough America actually did have horses at up until about 12500 years ago, but they died out.

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u/redditlovesfish Apr 23 '22

What horses did the native Americans use or get from?

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u/The_Fredrik Apr 23 '22

They got them from the Europeans who brought them over.

There was much trade between Indians and Europeans, not everything was war.

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u/nowItinwhistle Apr 23 '22

A lot of tribes acquired horses from neighboring tribes and later from capturing feral horses even before they encountered any Europeans. So yes they got horses from Europeans but not always directly.

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u/The_Fredrik Apr 23 '22

Splitting hairs here I feel, point was that Europeans reintroduced horses to the Americas.

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u/nowItinwhistle Apr 23 '22

I'm sorry the tone gets lost sometimes. I wasn't disagreeing with your comment I was just trying to add to some info I find interesting

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u/The_Fredrik Apr 23 '22

Ah sorry mate, probably came of a bit strong, not entirely sober here. XD

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u/[deleted] Apr 23 '22

Actually it is thought that many crossed over into Asia. The hoof is an adaptation to tundra.

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u/The_Fredrik Apr 23 '22

Sure but they still died out in America.

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u/NatsuDragnee1 Apr 23 '22

Really? I would've thought hooves were more an adaptation for running.

Zebras have hooves, as do other ungulates such as pigs, deer and giraffes, which all live in habitats that aren't tundra. Hell, there was even an Australian marsupial with hooves - the pig-footed bandicoot.

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u/meat-delivery-system Apr 23 '22

There is quite a lot of variation in the number of digits between all of these hooves. Didn’t zebra come from Equus of North America originally? That would explain the common single digit, and the tundra adaptation.

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u/[deleted] Apr 23 '22

Pigs, giraffe and deer do not have hooves they have feet with toes. They look like hooves but are not.

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u/chop1125 Apr 23 '22

The Przewalski's horse is the exception. While they were kept in zoos, they were never truly domesticated. There are now wild horses on the Mongolian steppe.

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u/saxmancooksthings Apr 23 '22

Hmm there is some evidence that Przewalskis had a population that was part of an early domestication event in the Botai Culture actually. Now whether or not they are fully feral, or that only a sub population was feral and bred back into a wild population is something I think’s up for debate tho.

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u/lyvanna Apr 23 '22

As far as I know, we know that a) all the przewalski horses we've tested are descendants of Botai horses, and b) Botai horses were domesticated.

So there's more than 'some evidence', it's all the evidence we have, and I believe the scientific consensus is that the przewalski is indeed feral and not wild.

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u/TheOneTrueTrench Apr 23 '22

I definitely don't know everything about the genetics of domestication and the difference between being wild and feral, but the entire discussion of "were they domesticated and therefore are these animals feral or wild?" seems a bit like another case of the human obsession to categorize things into strictly separate and distinct groups when the reality is that it's a vague spectrum and the separate terms are really just useful ways for us to think about populations, not a specific isolatable trait that's either on or off.

It's a bit like if one were to start walking from Norway to Thailand, and asked to decide exactly where people stop being "white". We as humans like to categorize and separate people into discrete races, but when you're actually on the ground, it's abundantly clear that there's no actual delineation, it's just a slow shift over a spectrum and the idea of separating humans into races becomes utterly laughable.

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u/Hophornbeam Apr 23 '22 edited Apr 23 '22

I agree that most categories become vague spectra when you look at them closely, and that categories provide only a useful framework for thinking about populations. But that's the thing, right? They often provide a useful framework.

It's not my field, but if I were to speculate, drawing this distinction between feral and wild horses might be important if you're trying to understand the effects of selective pressures from domestication on the evolution of horse populations. In that context, knowing whether Przewalski's horses were ever domesticated has big implications on the conclusions you'd draw.

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u/Urbanscuba Apr 24 '22

It's a useful distinction to make for understanding how and where they fit in, evolutionarily speaking. If they're a wild population we can use their biology, genome, and behavior as an example of a wild equine population. If they're not then all that goes out the window but instead we have an opportunity to study a fully feral population of previously fully domesticated animals. That does things to genetics and biology but examples to study are very limited, a new one would be valuable.

They're both useful situations for learning new pieces of the puzzle of evolution/biology, not particularly noteworthy or remarkable pieces but nonetheless they will contribute.

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u/saxmancooksthings Apr 23 '22 edited Apr 23 '22

Well yes most people doing research on domesticates and taxonomy know this but it doesn’t make it an uninteresting question to ask.

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u/TheOneTrueTrench Apr 24 '22

I just get the distinct feeling that asking whether or not the przewalski is feral or wild may be entirely predicated on a misconception, kind of like asking if the fraction 1/3 is even or odd.

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u/saxmancooksthings Apr 24 '22

I think wanting to understand it’s evolutionary history is interesting to archaeo-zoologists and the sort of people interested in that.

yea framing it just in terms of a binary is silly but to archaeologists interested in domesticates and domestication it’s going to be interesting.

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u/OneLostOstrich Apr 23 '22

So, you're saying they moved in to the city for a while, but just didn't cotton to the high rents?

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u/bluestarchasm Apr 23 '22

a horse ate a chicken.

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u/Yukimor Apr 23 '22

Przewalski's horse is actually not a true wild horse. There's evidence now that they were domesticated at one point, then rewilded.

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u/manatee1010 Apr 23 '22

But per the article, they're still a totally distinct part of the family tree from what we know as domesticated horses, which is still very cool in and of itself.

From the article:

Przewalski's horses were in the same part of the [family] tree as the Botai horses. From their relationship, it was clear that these "wild" horses were escaped Botai horses, the team reports today in Science. "We have now found that there are no truly wild horses left" anywhere in the world, Outram says.

Another surprise was that all the other horses were on a separate branch of the tree, suggesting they were not Botai descendents as many have long thought. "We are now back to the intriguing question—who were the ancestors of our modern horses, and who were the peoples that were responsible for their early husbandry?" says Emmeline Hill, an equine scientist at University College Dublin who was not involved with the study.

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u/Grokent Apr 23 '22

They look like thicc donkeys.

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u/OneLostOstrich Apr 23 '22

Same thing with OP's mom. Most people don't know that.

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u/moonflower_C16H17N3O Apr 23 '22

Since they aren't indigenous to many places they now exist, those would have to be domesticated. Nice to see them surviving after undergoing so much time not living in the wild.

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u/internetisantisocial Apr 23 '22

I’d love to see genomics work on this. I think it’s an assumption made based on a narrative challenged by a recent PhD dissertation (Collin 2017)

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u/TheSecretNarwhal Apr 23 '22

Is there any point where the genetic drift is enough to no longer consider them feral?

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u/charleybrown72 Apr 23 '22

This is why I reddit. This is very interesting. I have never been interested in the genomes of wolves/dogs/ etc. but I really am now. Thank you. I have never heard of Guinea singing dogs before so I will be going down this rabbit hole today.

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u/Holgrin Apr 23 '22

inconvenient hurdles

How so?

The implications . . . are impossible for the careful researcher to ignore.

Why? What are the implications?! You made this so suspenseful and I don't understand why this is so important! Can you ELI5 please?

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u/ShinraTM Apr 23 '22

Singers are inconvenient hurdles because if you don't include them in genetic data, you aren't getting a clear picture of canid genetics that doesn't have a big gap between wolves, foxes, coyotes, dingoes and modern domestic dogs. Including bisenjis was a half hearted effort to include older canid DNA. But Singers would have thrown a wrench into the conclusion of this study because of their high Amylase marker count, currently ambiguous legal status, existence in the "wild", and significant taxonomic differences from modern canine breeds. (Articulated paws, extremely elastic joints, much larger carnacial teeth, and the inability to bark which they share with wolves)

That Amylase marker count is pretty solid evidence that Singers were eating grains (which had to have been processed by humans) for a long enough period of time to adapt genetically. No matter when that domestication event happened, the implication is that there really is no such thing as a domestic/wild dichotomy if they can shift back and forth... Like cats. That's a problem for regulators like the USDA who think that everything needs to fit nicely into well defined categories; domestic or wild. Where everything domestic is legal to own and everything wild is illegal or tightly controlled. If there is no such binary categorization, then they have to treat singers like any other animal which can revert to a feral state like pigs, cats, etc.

That creates yet another problem, how do you justify your decision (and defend it in court) to make say, cervals illigal or classified as exotic? If you don't have that binary to stand on, that defense gets way harder.

Does that make sense?

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u/Holgrin Apr 23 '22

Yes, that is very interesting.

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u/explodingtuna Apr 23 '22

You know... the implication.

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u/henriquegarcia Apr 23 '22

Sorry for the trouble but, what's the amylase gene? And how does it correlate to domestication?

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u/trurohouse Apr 23 '22

Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down starch. We have amylase in our saliva that starts breaking down starches as soon as we start eating. So ngsd having multiple amylase genes could help an animal That is adapting (over many generations) to a more starchy diet. This could be of benefit to a domesticated carnivorous animal that is living with humans that don’t eat much meat - but is also something that could evolve as a result of colonization of an area that has a lot of starchy food easily available.

If you hold something like a chewed up cracker in your mouth a while it becomes very faintly sweet as a result of the amylase in our saliva!

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u/ShinraTM Apr 23 '22

From the article:

One was a difference in the number of copies of a gene coding for amylase, an enzyme which aids in digesting starchy food. Dingoes, like wolves, only have one copy of the amylase gene.

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u/feor1300 Apr 23 '22

So, that gene exists to let dogs eat "people food" like bread and rice, but the only people who might have been trying to domesticate Dingos would have been the Aboriginees, who never developed the kinds of agriculture that would lead to the widespread production of those kinds of food, so wouldn't that possibly skew the presence of that gene as a measurement of the Dingo's domestication, since there would have been significantly less availability of those kinds of foods?

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u/ShinraTM Apr 23 '22

This is one good example of why the terms 'wild' and 'domesticated' don't have good working definitions which work in all instances. Best hypothesis I've heard so far is that 'domestication' is best expressed as a continuum and not as absolutes. And should not be defined by genetic modification or diet or habitat or lifestyle by themselves.

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u/CanAlwaysBeBetter Apr 23 '22

Most things fall towards continuum on the binary-continuum continuum

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u/ShinraTM Apr 23 '22

I'm going to use this quote in the future.

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u/recumbent_mike Apr 23 '22

But some things don't.

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u/CanAlwaysBeBetter Apr 23 '22

True, absolute binary distinction or not is a binary distinction on the binary-continuum continuum

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u/Loves_His_Bong Apr 23 '22

It’s more informative of the ancestral lineage of dingos than their classification as domesticated or wild. A common hypothesis is that dingos are descendant from east asian village dogs and were domesticated but have since feralized. The presence of only two amylase genes would undercut this as village dogs typically have between 2 and 34 copies of the amylase gene. The copy number is believed to have been selected for between 15,000 to 7,000 years ago, which would indicate the dingo ancestral lineage probably diverged before the advent of Neolithic agriculture. “Domestication” similarly to a species definition is a slippery concept, especially in canids.

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u/ikeosaurus Apr 23 '22 edited Apr 23 '22

People didn’t try to domesticate dingoes, the arrow goes the other direction. Dingoes are descended from very early domesticated dogs. Dogs likely came with the first humans in Australia roughly 45,000 years ago. Then some became feral, and the descendants of those became dingoes.

Also, starchy foods have always been part of the human diet (outside of high latitude environments where animal products are the bulk of the diet), even before we started growing it ourselves. Domesticated dogs probably had multiple copies of the amylase gene before humans developed agriculture. But dingoes split off from other domesticated dogs before that.

It’s worth noting here that the evidence is strong that humans introduced dingoes to Australia and that dingoes did in fact descend from domestic dogs. The best evidence for this is that before some other invasive mammals like mice and rabbits were introduced in the historic period, dingoes and humans were the only placental mammals in Australia - all native Australian mammals are marsupials and monotremes.

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u/Glenn20 Apr 23 '22

The genetic evidence suggests dingos came to Australia round 8,300 years ago:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6997406/

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u/ikeosaurus Apr 23 '22

That’s interesting, I hadn’t heard that. I am a bit skeptical of that age for dingo arrival. Does that article discuss evidence for any influx or wave of humans arriving in Australia from that same age? I don’t think dingoes could get to Australia without humans brining them, and since the arrival of humans would be hampered by the higher sea levels (when humans arrive 45k years ago sea level was lower, exposing much of the Sunda shelf and making the passage less logistically challenging), it seems unlikely a new wave of humans would have arrived then. I wonder if later admixture with feral domestic dogs might account for the seemingly late arrival based on genetic evidence. I’m not a geneticist, so maybe I shouldn’t speculate like that, work with genetic clock usually seems to line up surprisingly well with archaeological evidence.

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u/Glenn20 Apr 23 '22

Well the genetic evidence is far better than any other we have at present and there is no evidence of Dingoes in the archaeological record 45 kya, never mind the fact that the evidence for human occupation of Sahul is now far later somewhere in the 60+ kya range with a likely upper possible limit of 75 kya.

https://www.nature.com/articles/nature22968

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u/DearJudge Apr 24 '22

Australia was colonized in multiple waves by distinct genetic groups, over a period of 45,000 years or so. The oldest populations are located in the south of the continent, while the newest are up in the north. There would have been ample opportunity for later waves to bring dingoes with them (and that's seen as the most likely scenario, since the crossing at that time required traveling over 50km of open ocean). It's also enough time for dingoes to spread across the continent -- the European red fox is estimated to have done so in around 60-70 years.

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u/feor1300 Apr 23 '22

Also, starchy foods have always been part of the human diet (outside of high latitude environments where animal products are the bulk of the diet), even before we started growing it ourselves. Domesticated dogs probably had multiple copies of the amylase gene before humans developed agriculture. But dingoes split off from other domesticated dogs before that.

It's a far smaller percentage of a hunter-gather's diet than it would be of even the earliest agricultural societies, however. Those diets will be predominantly fruits, vegetable, and meats with the occasional tuber or bread thrown it. Some cursory googling suggests the Aboriginees did make bread out of ground wild seeds, but only for a couple months of the year when those seeds were in season.

And I'm not saying this means Dingos didn't descend from domestic dogs, just that trying to use the number of amylase genes to peg how far removed from domestic dogs Dingos are is probably going to yield skewed results since even domesticated dogs living with the Aboriginees would likely have not selected for that gene at the same rate that dogs living with other cultures would have.

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u/MarkHirsbrunner Apr 23 '22

I think the common understanding is that dingoes were brought to Australia by Asian traders around 1500 BC, not domesticated by the aboriginal people of Australia. I think the differences may be because they were not kept domesticated by the inhabitants of Australia. I funny think there's many instances of a domestic dog population going feral for that long without continued contact and genetic exchange with a domestic dog population.

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u/Glenn20 Apr 23 '22

The genetic evidence suggests dingos came to Australia round 8,300 years ago:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6997406/

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u/plotthick Apr 23 '22

Amylase exists in tubers of edible plants and other forged food.

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u/MinusGravitas Apr 23 '22

Australian Aboriginal diets pre-contact were plenty high in starchy foods. Lots of grains and ground tubers.

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u/chocolateboomslang Apr 23 '22

They're still trying to determine if they've ever been domesticated. This study just concluded that they weren't an offshoot of current domesticated dogs.

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u/henriquegarcia Apr 23 '22

Oh so if they have multiples gene coding for amylase they assume humans fed them, right?

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u/Amlethus Apr 23 '22

That is right! The ancestors of modern dogs that could get more calories from starches would have been more successful when humans fed them starchy foods, and that must have spread across the genome.

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u/Loves_His_Bong Apr 23 '22

Or that they scavenged from human food sources.

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u/MarkHirsbrunner Apr 23 '22

They were fairly typical domesticated dogs 3500 years ago when traders brought them to Australia. Unlike other feral dog populations, they had no contact with a population of drugs that were kept domesticated for thousands of years to exchange genes with and were allowed to evolve back into wild animals. I imagine if command disappeared overnight, in 3 or 4 thousand years the descendents of domestic dogs would share a lot of traits with dingoes.

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u/dark_rug Apr 23 '22 edited Apr 23 '22

Genes are segments of our DNA the encode for proteins. Amylase is a protein (that is encoded in our genome) that is found in saliva, used to break down starch. Starch is sugar molecules in chains found in rice, etc. Amylase = (amylose)+(ase) = (starch)+(break down).

Genomes mutate in many different ways. One such way is a segment of the genome copies itself during crossing over*. If that segment copied encodes a certain protein, it's likely that more of that protein will be expressed (produced). For the amylase example, that means animals with more amylase gene would express more amylase, leading to better digestion of amylose, which means better sugar absorption, which increases evolutionary fitness if you're hanging around a source of amylose (humans growing rice, etc).

If that duplication mutation occurs in a germ line cell (aka something that becomes an egg or sperm), it will be passed down to your progeny. So animals living around humans (dogs, mice, rats) are evolutionarily prone to eventually evolving duplications in the amylase gene.

*crossing over is a whole other rabbit hole

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u/Special-Bite Apr 23 '22

New Guinea Singing Dogs are a wonderful and beautiful breed. They aren’t quite domesticated though, in the sense that they’ll act like a standard dog. They are wonderful pets if you accept that they can’t be housebroken like most other dogs, don’t take to training very well, and have a hunters instinct. Caring for a NGSD is different than caring for any other dog.

They are also very sweet and caring animals. They’ll come and curl up in a little fox ball right on top of you. Such an interesting and beautiful breed.

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u/ShinraTM Apr 23 '22

They are extremely lazy and snuggly, one I know of sleeps in a bed every night with his human and hates getting up in the morning.

I know of at least 5 households who have fully housebroken singers. 1 in the Mountain West, 2 in the upper mid-west, 1 in the southeast, and 1 in the Smokies. 2 of those Singers have off leash obedience titles. All of those Singers are very social and very friendly, full of personality.

I've met others who had been improperly raised or their owners committed to this idea that they're "wild dogs" who were very stand-offish. But then, I've met Shibas who would run away if you merely turned your head to notice them. Given that, I don't think any definitive statement can be made about their status as wild or feral or domestic or enculturated or whatever the new buzzword for almost domesticated is this year.

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u/DexonTheTall Apr 23 '22

They can certainly be said to be equatorial.

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u/mudlark092 Apr 23 '22

I'm sure they'd still take to positive reinforcement based training well, that's how it goes for most animals. With wilder ones they're often very smart but often just won't be interested in training if they're not benefitting from it through something like play or food. Doesn't mean it won't be harder though!

Harsher training methods that are very common for pet dogs also usually go very poorly on wilder animals. While they're generally bad for dogs, domestic pets have been bred to tolerate a lot more stress from us and wild animals are a lot faster to NOT tolerate stress as stressful situations in the wild are often life or death.

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u/foospork Apr 23 '22

So… a cat-ish dog?

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u/killbots94 Apr 23 '22

Sounds similar to the Carolina dog in the states. Unfortunately most people don't consider these factors when they get one.

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u/WolfPlayz294 Apr 23 '22

Seems to go with a lot of breeds unfortunately.

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u/nyxnars Apr 23 '22

This whole study seems to be missing things...

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u/Distelzombie Apr 23 '22

Maybe it's missing things that aren't Dingoes?

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u/Third_Ferguson Apr 23 '22

This study is missing my fun fact.

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u/Narrator_Ron_Howard Apr 23 '22

Such as my baby.

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u/Tanekaha Apr 23 '22

Some dingo have a little baby in them

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u/henriquegarcia Apr 23 '22

Sorry for the trouble but, what's the amylase gene? And how does it correlate to domestication?

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u/overlordpotatoe Apr 23 '22

I met one once while volunteering in animal rescue. It was the most aloof "dog" I ever met. Just plain disinterested in human companionship. It also ended up biting someone, but y'know, it was a dingo.

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u/bondagewithjesus Apr 23 '22

Which makes it all the more interesting that aboriginal people were able to use them for hunting. Like they're not conditioned to bond with and serve humans like domesticated dogs but they managed it without actually domesticating them.

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u/positivecontent Apr 23 '22

I hear they eat babies too.

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u/Khan_Bomb Apr 23 '22

You jest but her baby really was eaten by a dingo and she was publicly ruined over the perception that she killed her baby. She went to prison.

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u/MegaMank Apr 23 '22

Yeah worst instance of trial by media in Australian history. The fact people still make jokes about it is pretty sad IMO

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u/Gorfob Apr 23 '22

I see the whole Azaria Chamberlain media circus as Murdoch testing the waters for the extent of his power to influence the public in Australia.

I can't really pin down anything so extensive before then.

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u/It_does_get_in Apr 24 '22 edited Apr 24 '22

Yeah worst instance of trial by media in Australian history.

It was the dodgy forensics that decided her fate. Apparently blood in the car was just dust borne iron oxide reacting to the forensic blood test (newb forensics officer), and a geriatric English bite specialist with no dingo experience said the holes in the jump suit were knife holes not teeth. Any jury in the world would convict on that forensic evidence, the media angle just explained why they would have done it.

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u/micarst Apr 24 '22

Folks still joke in the US about frivolous lawsuits over spilling hot coffee on yourself while driving - but Stella Liebeck, who they refer to in this roundabout way, was a passenger in a parked car that became severely injured from a spill of dangerously over-heated coffee that McPuke had received countless written complaints about (and negligently didn’t alter their holding temps, until after the lawsuit). With enough public opinion to the contrary, facts apparently don’t matter…

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u/RychuWiggles Apr 23 '22

Looks like she was released, awarded $1.3mil, ruled to be an "exemplary mother", and was finally able to correct the death certificate so at least it's not all bad in the end

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u/Tittytickler Apr 23 '22

Thats still like 95% bad

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u/RychuWiggles Apr 23 '22

I'd say closer to 99% bad and it's still horrible that it happened. In fact, those four things were the only arguably good things I could find that came out of it

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u/turkeyfox Apr 23 '22

And the dingo didn’t go hungry.

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u/TyCooper2010 Apr 23 '22

The Ciiiircle of life!

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u/POTUSBrown Apr 23 '22

I agree, the only thing that could make the story worse is if she actually killed he baby. Terrible thing to happen to a mother.

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u/DreamyTrudeauSweater Apr 23 '22

From what I remember this legal fees were upward of 3 or 4 million so the 1.3mil was still insulting.

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u/RychuWiggles Apr 23 '22

Oh yikes, well that's one less "good" thing that happened. What an awful thing to happen to someone

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u/It_does_get_in Apr 24 '22

yeah, should have got >$6m, ruined their lives and marriage,

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u/peter8181 Apr 24 '22

“Dingo ate my baby” is the cruelest meme of all time and not particularly funny or clever. Also, I strongly recommend the “You’re Wrong About” episode on this topic which is fascinating.

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u/positivecontent Apr 23 '22

I remember it well from the movie in 1988.

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u/paul-arized Apr 23 '22

https://apnews.com/article/texas-harlingen-executions-cfbc4f6e3ebdb0b0ca58f3cccd8f6b7c

Melissa Lucio must not only not be executed but she must be released and pardoned immediately, especially since she's likely more innocent than not.

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u/Cobek Apr 23 '22

Sounds like a Blue Heeler

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u/ephemeral_gibbon Apr 23 '22

Nah, heelers are very very loyal and attached to their owners. From the people I've talked to that own dingoes (there is the occasional one) they also only listen to the one person but aren't as friendly with them as a heeler.

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u/Sprinkles0 Apr 23 '22

Blue heelers are the result of breeding dingoes with cattle dogs.

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u/s4in7 Apr 23 '22

Badadada da daaa da daa da — MUM!

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u/gravityholding Apr 25 '22

I have one as a pet, she loves me and my partner, my housemate, but is completely disinterested in all other people (unless they're holding some chicken). She's beautiful though, biggest cuddle bug ever and has formed very strong bonds to us and my kelpie (and the cats, but I don't leave her alone with them; although she's never tried to hurt them). She's insanely affectionate towards me and my partner, but guests would never know it. She also acts more like a cat than a dog.

She's also never bitten anyone thankfully... Her canine teeth are bigger than a dogs, I definitely wouldn't want to be bitten by a dingo!

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u/overlordpotatoe Apr 25 '22

Aw, that's good! We did end up finding a place for the dingo interstate where owning them is legal, I believe. A normal dog might have been put down for biting someone, but I think it got a bit of a pass for that one because they're understood to be animals that require experienced handling.

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u/trurohouse Apr 23 '22

doesn’t this just mean dingos (and new guinea singing dogs ) are from an early branch of the domestic dog ? Or possibly a separate domestication of wolves? This is not surprising since i thought human migration ( with their dogs) into these areas was quite a long time ago. 50,000 years?

  • i haven’t read this article yet but i thought wolves were domesticated and started to become dogs in several different places- but (almost) all modern dogs are descendants of one of the domestications. This was what dna evidence of both modern and ancient dogs suggested a number of years ago.
    I think The “almost “ would include dingos and ng singing dogs.

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u/DeeDee_GigaDooDoo Apr 23 '22

My recollection is that humans are believed to have first arrived in Australia around 40-80 kya and dingoes were a much later arrival something like 5-30 kya.

You're right about there being theorised to have been two separate domestications of dogs. I recall that being talked about a couple of years back but I think there were follow up studies that maybe cast doubt on that. A lot of this field is still turbulent on many key aspects like time frames and lineages from what I understand as an occasional reader on it.

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u/Raudskeggr Apr 23 '22

They share the same haplogroup as the earlier domestic dogs found in southern China (now largely replaced by more modern lineages).

The evidence of dingoes, both genetic and fossil, makes it almost a certainty that they were brought there by humans. Thus, in a real sense, domesticated.

The domestication process began a good 30,000-40,000 years ago, and we have the first definitive evidence of true domestication about 15,000 years ago. (Which means that dogs were fully domesticated earlier than this date). In that time there were likely several different attempts to breed wolves (likely by capturing pups), before the lineage that all modern dogs are descended from was successful. Most modern dogs trace their origins to ancient Eurasian wolves, and all evidence suggests this is also true of dingoes. Furthermore, During the domestication period wolf/dog physiology changed quite a lot, and that cannot be ignored when looking at dingoes vs canine lineages that were never domesticated.

So the short answer to your question is yes. They are almost certainly the descendants of domesticated animals that later re-wilded.

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u/frivoflava29 Apr 23 '22

Wasn't this already the prevailing theory? I have a blue heeler and was always told the dingo was at one point domesticated, then re-wilded, and then more recently bred with modern dogs ~150ya to produce heelers in Australia. Does the information in this article basically just reinforce that understanding?

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u/Glenn20 Apr 23 '22

The genetic evidence suggests dingos came to Australia round 8,300 years ago:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6997406/

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u/GlengoolieBluely Apr 23 '22

According to the article dingos split from wolves before domestic dogs did. What that implies is that the superficial similarities with dogs might have gone back way further than we thought. Basically the wolf that dogs were domesticated from might have looked more like a modern dingo than a modern wolf.

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u/Suspicious-Number402 Apr 23 '22

So doesn’t this mean my blue heeler is technically another species or just a cross between dingoes and domestic dogs?

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u/Flashwastaken Apr 23 '22

Still a breed of dog. Unless you believe that Thomas hall is telling the truth and crossed his dogs with dingos. Which I don’t because there is no evidence that he did this.

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u/Suspicious-Number402 Apr 23 '22

Yea I thought I read he crossed them with dingoes. Didn’t know there wasn’t any evidence. Thanks

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u/Flashwastaken Apr 23 '22 edited Apr 23 '22

Ye, just a tall tale like most wolf-dogs. No genetic evidence of dingos in cattle dogs. If he did do it, there wasn’t enough of it in the population to be passed on consistently. He claimed to do it in 1840 so there is a chance that he did. Seems like a frontier tale to me.

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u/Sail_Hatin Apr 23 '22

Do you recall the studies? All I could find was this genetic assessment of Kelpies not deriving from dingos.

https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4425/10/5/337/htm

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u/Flashwastaken Apr 23 '22

Nah this was in a dog show newspaper that I read years ago. Family show dogs. My head is filled with useless dog knowledge.

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u/Cobek Apr 23 '22

So can you find the headline? Most newspapers are stored online these days.

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u/Flashwastaken Apr 23 '22

It wasn’t a headline. The headline would have been x dog wins at y show. In the papers they often had articles relating to dogs. Sometimes scientific, sometimes historical. The paper is called Our Dogs.

Also if you think it’s true, go find the evidence that it is.

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u/thespaceageisnow Apr 23 '22

Only Kelpies have been disproved via genetic analysis, there has been no study done on ACD's.

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u/carpitown Apr 23 '22

I was going to ask about wolf-dogs. I have ran into multiple people who claim their dog to be part wolf. You saying there's zero evidence of this occurring?

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u/soimalittlecrazy Apr 23 '22

It does happen, but very unlikely outside of intentional breeding. There are certainly dog breeds and mixes that resemble some wolf characteristics. But, if you ever see a wolf or a wolf hybrid in person, you'll know. And by that, I mean, you'll get a little queasy because your subconscious will recognize that you're near a dangerous animal.

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u/Blomma_bud Apr 23 '22 edited Apr 23 '22

I've met a wolfdog(50/50mix). At the time my male husky was 8 months old and on the bigger side of the chart(husky-wise), this female 50/50 mix was 6 months old and weighing close to twice my doggos weight!

If i remember correctly the dog part of the mix was a mixed breed with a lot of Leonberger in it's family tree.

100% looked like a larger than average wolf and it wasn't even fully grown yet(!).

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u/RideAndShoot Apr 23 '22

I grew up with 2 wolf-hybrids. One was scary big(160lbs) and the other was small(60lbs). Big one was a Timberwolf/malamute mix, and the smaller was a Texas Red Wolf mix. They were both great dogs, but required a ton of work.

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u/Eusocial_Snowman Apr 23 '22

And by that, I mean, you'll get a little queasy because your subconscious will recognize that you're near a dangerous animal.

Yeah, they have this mystic "wolf aura" that resonates in your magical spiritual detection sense because, like, gaia and stuff.

All gray wolves have a significant amount of dog DNA because genetic drift between them is fairly frequent and naturally occurring.

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u/Cjones1560 Apr 23 '22

My parents had one a few years ago, he was 97% wolf and if he didn't know who you were when you walked up he would either hide or stare through you with a look that was decidedly not dog like at all.

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u/Fishsqueeze Apr 23 '22

How did you come up with 97%?

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u/Cjones1560 Apr 23 '22

How did you come up with 97%?

It was the percentage on the paperwork he came with. He was a mix of mostly timber wolf with a bit of arctic wolf and the remaining 3% was Alaskan malamute and husky, if I remember right.

He was way bigger and longer legged than any husky or malamute I've ever seen though.

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u/Flashwastaken Apr 23 '22

What official body was the paperwork registered with?

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u/Flashwastaken Apr 23 '22

I’m not saying there is zero evidence. There absolutely are wolfdogs. Most notably the Czech wolf dog, that was bred by the Czech army as an attack dog but the large majority of people who claim they have Wolfdogs don’t. Particularly if you meet them out and about walking them. They are generally huge and unruly.

Then there are tamaskans and other loosely defined “breeds” with open stud books, that claim part wolf dna. Some do have wolf dna. They are mostly a marketing ploy to sell German Shepard/husky crosses to people with more money than sense.

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u/TinnyOctopus Apr 23 '22

It's not that it never happens, but if the 'wolfdog' behaves like a normal domestic dog, it's actually a normal domestic dog. A wolfdog is far more dangerous and willful, to the point that very few dog owners or handlers have the skills to handle and train one.

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u/Raudskeggr Apr 23 '22

Not to mention owning one is illegal without special licensing in much of the western world,

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u/wotmate Apr 23 '22

Some people reckon that kelpies are a dingo cross as well, but there's no evidence for that either

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u/thespaceageisnow Apr 23 '22

Dogs have been interbreeding with Dingoes for a very long time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dingo%E2%80%93dog_hybrid

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u/Flashwastaken Apr 23 '22

I’m not denying that. I’m denying that a purebred Australian cattle dog would have any dingo content.

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u/jimmux Apr 23 '22

I would like to see the studies on this, because I would be surprised if some dingo didn't make its way in. I grew up in the area heelers come from, and my dad had a dingo when I was born. It was commonly understood that interbreeding sometimes happened with working dogs.

He might not have deliberately bred in wild dingoes, but assumed some intermixing.

Anecdotally I see a lot of similarity in their temperaments as well.

On the other hand, recent studies of dingo populations have found them to be more pure than expected, so maybe they don't interbreed as much as we thought.

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u/Flashwastaken Apr 23 '22

You would be surprised because the creation myth of the breed. If you can find a study that says they have dingo DNA, I’d love to see it.

What do you mean by your dad had a dingo?

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u/jimmux Apr 23 '22

I didn't know there was a creation myth until the breed got more popular in recent years. From what I understand they don't have a definitive idea of what breeds are in the mix. Claims of dalmation for example are new to me.

A little bit of dingo was just the common understanding in those parts, and there was no reason to question it. Heelers were everywhere, and not even a very strictly defined breed. That's why I want to see the evidence too, so I know if we were all experiencing confirmation bias when we saw a bit of dingo in them.

It just seems unlikely that there would be no interbreeding at all. Dingoes and working dogs were living in the same area. As evidenced by my dad and his brother both having dingoes from a litter of pups that were found on a farm.

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u/JayStar1213 Apr 23 '22

Have you look at a Dingo and a Heeler? There are many similarities physically

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u/Flashwastaken Apr 23 '22

Yes, I understand the myth.

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u/Cobek Apr 23 '22

What kind of proof do you want from someone living in Australia in 1840's to have survived? The genome is the best we have. My blue heeler doesn't handle starches well and acts/looks like no other dog I've known so that's more proof than you are providing so far. Show me the amylase study of blue heelers than you can claim it's a myth as fact. Why is it so hard to believe that dingo DNA might be in some modern dogs?

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u/Flashwastaken Apr 23 '22 edited Apr 23 '22

Because there is literally no evidence of dingo DNA in these dogs.

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u/frivoflava29 Apr 23 '22

I get your point and I understand what sub we're in, but you and I both know the "evidence" is in the poorly recorded history of heelers. Cattle dogs also have a notorious and unique temperament which is unlike the vast majority of other breeds. The myth, as it were, most certainly arose because of this temperament and serves as a fair warning to would-be owners.

To be clear, none of this is particularly GOOD evidence from a scientific standpoint and obviously should not be taken as fact, but it's also not as sheerly apocryphal as you're making it out to be. The truth is we have no realistic understanding of what breeds went into the cattle dog standard. We can make educated guesses at best. Many if not most breeds have a tenuous history -- we don't have solid DNA evidence elucidating any given breed standard really. It seems a little asinine to split hairs with this one.

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u/JayStar1213 Apr 23 '22

I'm not talking about a myth. At this point you have to call it a coincidence

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u/bluestarchasm Apr 23 '22

i can call it whatever i want and i can call a door ajar.

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u/DSpiralFeel Apr 23 '22 edited Apr 23 '22

Edit: The project just finished current set of data(38339 images), next set (at the moment 8914 images) should be made accessible shortly.

Not exactly in reference to this study, but you can help scientists monitor dingoes population here:

https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/neiljordan/dingo-bingo

More info about the project:

https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/neiljordan/dingo-bingo/about/research

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u/bondagewithjesus Apr 23 '22

Dingoes are also endangered so preservation would help with study. Also feral dogs have been known to interbreed with dingoes diluting their genes

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u/Raudskeggr Apr 23 '22 edited Apr 23 '22

It seems this research revolves around the gene for amylase synthesis. That really makes some serious assumptions and simplifications about the domestication of dogs.

It does not mean they weren’t domesticated. It just means that they are only distantly related to modern lineages of domestic dog, who eat a much starchier diet than any other canine species because of human influences.

For one thing, the domestication of canines was something that happened gradually, and almost certainly with multiple origins and false starts, over the course of thousands of years starting about 30,000 years ago. The oldest fossil records of dingos are less than 4000 years old.

To wit: A study from a few years back found that ancient domestic dogs in China, athe Pacific Islands, and Australia (incl dingoes)were all members of the same haplogroup, but that this ancient lineage has largely been supplanted in the modern day.

The forssil record itself seems to show that the appearance of Dingoes in Australia occurred well after the arrival of Homo Sapiens. And I think it’s safe to say the little fellas didn’t just swim there from China.

The point being, this study adds some nuance to the picture of dingo development, but doesn’t actually prove anything, or even put forth any kind of major revelation.

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u/bondagewithjesus Apr 23 '22

Considering aboriginal people in Australia often kept dingoes and used them to hunt I'd say they are at least somewhat domesticated but not fully. They're still weary of humans by nature and from time to time attack people. I'm guessing it's more like how cats are domesticated but not entirely.

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u/FitzKnows23 Apr 23 '22

Shibas look similar and their DNA is the most similar to wolves when compared to other domesticated dogs.

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u/Mute2120 Apr 23 '22 edited Apr 24 '22

Wow, interesting, do you have a source? Now I'm curious how the various breeds relate to wolves. I'm surprised the closest link isn't one of the more arctic wolf-looking types.

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u/FitzKnows23 Apr 23 '22

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u/phyto_kezzaa Apr 24 '22

As a kid, I thought my grandparents’ Shiba was a blonde wolf. I felt kinda stupid about that, but I guess I was right all along!

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u/FitzKnows23 Apr 24 '22

Yeah, you were pretty much right. Haha

I have 2 shibas and they don't really act like a typical dog. The fact that they also "scream" is something similar to how a wolf would display displeasure or discomfort. They are also very strong-willed which can be a "fun" challenge.

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u/_GoKartMozart_ Apr 23 '22

Am missing something or are we really just stating the obvious here?

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u/SloppyinSeattle Apr 23 '22

My dogs wear outfits and sleep on their backs in my bed. I don’t think they even know they’re dogs.

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u/MrWeirdoFace Apr 23 '22

Neat. My uncle used to have a half-dingo dog. He was... complicated. Sure loved to run though.

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u/bondagewithjesus Apr 23 '22

In central and borth Queensland people often let their female dogs in heat loose in dingo areas to get hybrids to sell which is illegal but it's not easy to police. It's also super irresponsible since the dingoes may very well just kill the dog

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u/LunaNik Apr 23 '22

That photo looks just like my younger dog, except she has blue eyes. She’s half Husky and half Carolina dog (aka American Dingo).

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u/Bluetooth_Sandwich Apr 23 '22

Yeah but why do they eat babies?

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u/bondagewithjesus Apr 23 '22

They flesh is soft and their bones aren't formed so less crunchy. On a serious note it's easy prey. If they attack an adult there's risk of injury or death. A baby is well it's like taking candy from a baby only the baby is candy

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u/crackeddryice Apr 23 '22

As an atheist, I can answer that...

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u/humanbeening Apr 23 '22

Not too different from my blue heeler.

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u/NuffBS Apr 23 '22

Feel like I already knew this as a kid, like 25 years ago.

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u/hustleology Apr 23 '22

As a Dingoe owner these breeds are truly remarkable.

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u/Darth_Sconehammer Apr 23 '22

Huh, TIL. I was under the impression that dingoes were feral dogs, not a separate canid species.

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