Solving the puzzle of New Guinea singing dogs

Solving the puzzle of New Guinea singing dogs

Too often we hear about animals that have become extinct. So, how refreshing to learn about a species that went the other way.

As the name suggests, New Guinea singing dogs have unique vocalizations. Looking like a hybrid between a dingo and Shiba Inu, singing dogs are native to the New Guinea highlands. They were thought to be extinct since 1950 when one of the dogs was last seen in the wild.

But in 2012, a tour guide photographed a wild dog in the highlands. Several years later, researchers collected DNA from similar animals, confirming that they were, indeed, New Guinea singing dogs.

Findings also confirmed the relationship between the New Guinea dogs, Australian dingoes and Asian dogs that traveled with humans to Oceania 35 hundred years ago. Further research may help pinpoint the time when these dogs became domesticated.

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