Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dingo’s Mother A Chinese Domesticated Dog

Date:
August 17, 2004
Source:
Swedish Research Council
Summary:
The Australian dingo descends from domesticated dogs that people from Southeast Asia brought with them to Australia some 5,000 years ago. Genetic studies indicate that it is probably a matter of a single occasion and a very small number of dogs.

The Australian dingo descends from domesticated dogs that people from Southeast Asia brought with them to Australia some 5,000 years ago. Genetic studies indicate that it is probably a matter of a single occasion and a very small number of dogs.

The story begins when a few domestic dogs originally originating from East Asia, jump ashore from a boat. “No matter how you get to Australia, you have to travel across open seas for at least 50 km-a journey no large land-based animal has ever undertaken without human assistance, as far as we know. Therefore, there is good reason to believe that the ancestors of the dingo jumped ashore in Australia together with people who went there by boat,” says Peter Savolainen at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, who has directed the work.

The study also shows that the dingo has been genetically isolated for at least 3,500 years and therefore constitutes a unique vestige that has preserved the appearance of early domesticated dogs. The results answer a question many researchers have posed about the yellow wild dog in Australia and what it really is. The study is now being published in the prestigious scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. The article is being pre-published this week at PNAS Online Early Edition.

Peter Savolainen and his associates have studied the DNA from 211 Dingos and compared it with the corresponding DNA of more than 600 domesticated dogs and wolves to find similarities and differences. The number of differences in the DNA indicates not only possible relationships but also provides information about how long ago various species and races parted ways.

Half of the DNA samples from the dingo are identical with each other, and the remaining ones differ only at individual sites. Such tiny variations in DNA support the theory that the ancestors of the dingo arrived in Australia late (5,000 years ago) and indicate that mixing of DNA from new individuals has been extremely limited since then.

Peter Savolainen and his associates from Australia and New Zealand have been able to establish great similarities between the DNA of the dingo and that of dogs from Southeast Asia, which points to the dingo being a domesticated dog that became wild rather than being a wild dog from the beginning. The similarity also bolsters the theory that the dingo stems from Southeast Asia and not India, which has been an alternative hypothesis since certain breeds of dogs in India have a skeleton that clearly brings to mind the dingo.

A set of other facts strengthen the conclusions from the genetic studies. The dingo evinces great similarities in appearance with today’s domesticated dogs; the oldest archaeological evidence of the dingo in Australia is from 3,500 years ago; and the dingo does not inhabit Tasmania, which separated from the rest of Australia 12,000 years ago. Their ancestors coming to Australia 5,000 years ago also harmonizes well with the fact that at that time Chinese peoples colonized the archipelago outside Australia.

This research into the origin of the dingo has been conducted by Peter Savolainen in collaboration with scientists from Australia and New Zealand and builds on the acclaimed results from the same research team presented a couple of years ago regarding the origin of the domestic dog.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Swedish Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Swedish Research Council. "Dingo’s Mother A Chinese Domesticated Dog." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040815234309.htm>.
Swedish Research Council. (2004, August 17). Dingo’s Mother A Chinese Domesticated Dog. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040815234309.htm
Swedish Research Council. "Dingo’s Mother A Chinese Domesticated Dog." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040815234309.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

AP (Apr. 21, 2014) Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The cost of morning staples like bacon, coffee and orange juice is on the rise because of global supply problems. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins