Dingo, with the trinomial name Canis lupus dingo, is a domestic dog that is believed to have been introduced in Australia by the Southeast Asian traders some 15000 years ago. Since its scientific name is Canis Lupus, it clearly indicates that it has been regarded as belonging to the wolf species. It looks similar to a large dog and can only be differentiated on the basis of its longer canine teeth, different skull formation and distinct mating habits. It is a nocturnal mammal that hunts for food at night. Currently, dingo is placed in the vulnerable list by IUCN. However, since it has a habit of attacking livestock and is considered a pest by the sheep industry, the effort to save sheep alternately affects its conservation. These fascinating creatures are susceptible to extinction due to habitat loss and deforestation. Read on to know all the interesting facts and amazing information related to this mammal.
Species: C. lupus
Subspecies: C. l. dingo
Height: 19 - 23 inches (48 - 58.5 cm)
Weight: 50 - 70 pounds (23 - 32 kg)
Life Span: Average lifespan is 10 years but can live upto 13 to 18 years.
Diet: Carnivore, will eat variety of mammals, birds and reptiles along with plants and fruits
Range: Australian (except Tasmania) and South East Asia
Habitat: harsh deserts to lush rainforests but prefers to mainland which prefers access to drinking water
Age of Sexual Maturity: 2 years- female/ 1 to 3 years- male
Gestation Period: 61 to 69 days
Number of Offspring: 1 to 8
Interesting & Fun Facts About Dingoes
- The color of the coat of dingo ranges from golden to yellowish red, with white markings on the underside, feet, and tip of tail.
- The wrist of a dingo is quite unique in the canine world, as it can rotate easily. This helps it use its paws like hands, allowing it to turn a doorknob easily.
- The dingoes found in Australia are much larger than those in the Asian continent.
- Dingo is an intelligent animal, but its domestication is difficult, since it is harder to train and is very independent.
- The animal mates once in a year, between March and June (in Australia) and between August and September (in South East Asia).
- The mate chosen by a dingo is for lifetime and the pups born are raised by both the male and the female.
- A young male dingo is usually solitary, but forms a pack of about 10 animals to hunt and kill the larger kangaroos.
- The dominant female dingo kills the pups of other female dingoes in the pack. It even gives its own pups to the sub-dominant females, to look after.
- The bark of a dingo is usually short and monosyllabic, making many people assume that it does not bark at all.
- Australian dingo has three basic forms of howling, namely moan, bark-howl, snuff, with at least 10 variations. The frequency of howling varies on season and time of the day, along with lactation, dispersal behavior, breeding, migration and social stability.
- A dingo can turn its head to 180 degrees in either direction.
- These have pricked ears.
- Interbreeding between pure dingoes and domesticated dogs has led to the reduction of pure dingoes in the world.
- These canines are considered to be one of the oldest breeds of dogs.
- The coats of dingoes can determine the purity of its breed.
- Humans and crocodiles are the predators of these canines.
- It is illegal in places such as South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland to keep dingoes as pets.
- Dingoes live near rocky gorges and take shelter in hollow logs and caves.