dingo

/ding"goh/, n., pl. dingoes.
1. a wolflike, wild dog, Canis familiaris dingo, of Australia, having a reddish- or yellowish-brown coat.
2. Australian. a cowardly or treacherous person.
[1789; < Dharuk din-gu tame dingo]

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Australian wild dog (Canis dingo), apparently introduced from Asia 5,000–8,000 years ago.

It has short, soft fur, a bushy tail, and erect, pointed ears. It is about 4 ft (1.2 m) long, including the 12-in. (30-cm) tail, and stands about 24 in. (60 cm) tall. Its colour varies between yellowish and reddish brown, often with white underparts, feet, and tail tip. Dingoes hunt alone or in small groups. They formerly preyed on kangaroos but now feed mainly on rabbits and sometimes on livestock. They contributed, through competition for resources, to the extermination of the Tasmanian wolf and the Tasmanian devil on the Australian mainland.

Dingo (Canis dingo)

G.R. Roberts

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mammal
also called  warrigal 
 feral canine (member of the family Canidae) native to Australia. Most authorities regard dingos as either a subspecies of the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris dingo) or a subspecies of the wolf (C. lupus dingo); however, some authorities consider dingos to be their own species (C. dingo). The name dingo is also used to describe wild dogs of Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and New Guinea. The dingo was apparently introduced from Asia to other regions by sea travelers, probably 3,500–4,000 years ago. The oldest known dingo fossil in Australia dates from about 3,500 years ago. (By contrast, humans arrived in Australia at least 30,000 years ago.) It is believed by many authorities that dingoes were introduced to Australia before true domestication of dogs was achieved, thus allowing establishment of wild populations. Dingoes are therefore regarded by these authorities not as feral descendants of once-domesticated dogs but rather as truly wild versions of the domestic dog.

      Similar to the domestic dog in structure and habits, the dingo has short, soft fur, a bushy tail, and erect, pointed ears. It is about 120 cm (48 inches) long, including the 30-cm (12-inch) tail, stands about 60 cm (24 inches) tall at the shoulder, and weighs about 20 kg (44 pounds). Its colour varies between yellowish and reddish brown, often with white underparts, paws, and tail tip. Dingoes can be differentiated from domestic dogs of similar size and shape by their longer muzzle, larger ears, more-massive molars, and longer and more-slender canine teeth.

      Dingoes hunt alone or in small groups of 2 to 12 individuals. Groups typically consist of family members and resemble those of other canines such as wolves. Dingoes are highly mobile; daily movements may reach 10–20 km (6–12 miles), and territories vary in size from 10 to 115 square km (4 to 44 square miles). There is little overlap among adjacent groups; boundaries are delineated by scent marking, and occupancy of territories is also indicated by howling. Dingoes rarely bark, but they have a varied repertoire of howls, often being called “singing dogs.”

      Dingoes are large carnivores (carnivore). Historically, they preyed (predation) mostly on kangaroos (kangaroo) and wallabies (wallaby), but their diet changed with the introduction of the European rabbit (genus Oryctolagus) into Australia in the mid-19th century. Now dingoes consume mostly rabbits and small rodents. Through competition they may have contributed to the extermination of the native Tasmanian wolf (thylacine) and Tasmanian devil (both marsupials) from the Australian mainland.

      Occasionally, dingoes prey on livestock, especially calves, and for this reason they are often regarded as pests. With the European settlement of Australia, they preyed on sheep and poultry and were consequently eliminated from most areas. Today the purity of dingo populations is under threat from hybridization with domestic dogs, a problem that is constantly increasing with spreading human settlement. Wild dingoes, though bold and suspicious, can be tamed, and they are sometimes captured and tamed by Aborigines.

      Dingoes have their pups in caves, hollow logs, and enlarged rabbit warrens. Breeding occurs in the spring, and, after a gestation period of 63 days, females give birth to 4–5 pups (occasionally up to 10). As with most other canines, both parents care for the young. Young males often disperse outside their natal areas; one tagged individual was recorded as traveling 250 km (150 miles) in 10 months. The longest known life span for any individual dingo is 14 years 9 months.

Serge Lariviere
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • dingo — dingo …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • dingo — DÍNGO s.m. invar. Specie de câine sălbatic din Australia. (Canis dingo) – Din fr. dingo. Trimis de ana zecheru, 12.03.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  díngo s. m. invar. Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  DÍNGO m …   Dicționar Român

  • Dingo — (Neuholländischer Hund, Canis australis, C. Dingo), Art der Gattung Hund, Schwanz lang, gerade, stark haarig, Ohren aufrecht, spitzig; dicht behaart, doch nicht langhaarig; so groß wie ein Wolf, begleitet die wilden Neuholländer, bellt u. knurrt… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Dingo — Dingo, Warragal (Canis dingo Shaw [Tafel: Australische Tierwelt, 14]), verwilderte Hundeart Australiens, von der Größe eines starken Schäferhundes, sonst fuchsähnlich, den Schafherden gefährlich …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • dingo — dȉngo (dȉngos) m <G a> DEFINICIJA zool. australski divlji pas (Canis dingo) ETIMOLOGIJA egz. (austral.aboridž.) …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • dingo — dingo* {{/stl 13}}{{stl 7}}ZOB. pies dingo {{/stl 7}} …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • dingo — sustantivo masculino 1. (macho y hembra) Canis dingo. Mamífero australiano, parecido a un perro salvaje, de mediano tamaño, pelo corto de color amarillento o rojizo, con las partes inferiores blancas y cola poblada …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • dingo — [diŋ′gō] n. pl. dingoes [native name] the Australian wild dog (Canis dingo), usually tawny in color, with short, pointed ears and a bushy tail …   English World dictionary

  • Dingo — Din go, n. (Zo[ o]l.) A wild dog found in Australia, but supposed to have introduced at a very early period. It has a wolflike face, bushy tail, and a reddish brown color. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dingo — Dingo, s. Hund …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • dingo — 1789, Native Australian name, from Dharruk (language formerly spoken in the area of Sydney) /din go/ tame dog, though the English used it to describe wild Australian dogs. Bushmen continue to call the animal by the Dharruk term /warrigal/ wild… …   Etymology dictionary

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