A wild canine endemic to many parts of Australia, the dingo generally inhabits grasslands and forests and is thought to have descended from semi-domesticated dogs. Despite the diversity of wildlife across Australia, dingoes are the continent’s largest terrestrial predator.
1. Scientific & Common Names
4. Present Status
Scientific & Common Names
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Mammalia
Order - Carnivora
Family - Canidae
Genus – Canis
Species – C. lupus (dingo)
Common Names – Dingo
Although they’re not generally aggressive, dingoes are probably best studied with our figurine, rather than up close in real life. While they look like domestic dogs, they are wild canines and need to be treated with respect, like any wild creature.
Dingoes breed once a year, and typically only the alpha male in a pack will breed, while the other males help raise the pups. There are usually around five pups per litter. While many farmers in Australia consider them pests, livestock makes up only a small part of their diet, and they are known to eat more than 150 different species of animal, from bugs to fish, and even kangaroos!
Dingoes are apex predators, and hunt in packs much like a wolf or coyote.
Interestingly, there’s no consensus regarding what the dingo actually is. It has been referred to as a wolf, dog, dingo, wild dog, and even a feral dog. In fact, researchers and scientists aren’t exactly sure where dingoes even came from. The most popular belief is that they’re the descendants of semi-domesticated dogs, but others suggest that they descended from a now extinct species of Asian wolf. Dingoes have even been known to mate with other domesticated dogs, making their classification even more challenging!
Dingoes have recently been categorized as "Vulnerable", mainly due to cross-breeding with domestic dogs. Thus, the "purity" of wild dingoes is being diluted.