Saturday, March 02, 2013

Introducing the dingo

Just for a change in direction, I have been musing about the dingo. For those who don't know it, it's the Australian native dog.Dingo_walking Except that its not native, coming here perhaps 5,000 years ago.

Most Australians have never seen a dingo or, if they have, like me it's one in captivity.

The dingo occupies a special place in Australian folk lore for both the Aboriginal peoples and those who came later. Recently I have been trying to work out when the dingo got to Australia. Why? It's important in the later human history of this continent.

I guess that you can expect a few posts on the subject. Just a warning!


Commenter kvd pointed me to this link, Evolution Down Under, an American PBS story from a few years back.  Although the reference to dingoes is tangential, it paints an interesting picture of evolutionary change on the Australian continent. For example, why weren't the Australian megafauna bigger?

If we look at recent time, the last 50,000 years or so, the big animal events before the introduction of domesticated and other animals by the European settlers were the extinction of the megafauna and then, much later, the arrival of the dingo. Both events still create a degree of controversy. 


Rod said...

I saw an albino dingo in a pack of the traditional red variety while crossing the Nullabor Plain about 15 years back. It was an odd site indeed.

Anonymous said...

Dingo mentioned in the very last sentence of this interesting article:

Also, see left hand link to an upcoming PBS series "Australia: First 4 Billion Years" which sounds interesting.


Jim Belshaw said...

It would have been an odd sight, Rod. kvd, interesting link. I will bring it up in the main post. As geologist Rod know, I am still struggling to bring together the geological history of New England, let alone plants and animals. The Antarctic beech can be found in the New England National Park to the east of Armidale.