Dingo species dispute reported in ABC News 7 March 2019 and Zootaxa 5 March 2019, doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.4564.1.6.
A group of researchers has carried out an extensive study of the Australian wild dog, known as the dingo, and claim it should be classified as a separate species of dog with the name Canis dingo, rather than as a subgroup of the domestic dog Canis familiaris.
Their study looked at skull shape, genetics, behaviour and ecology. They concluded that dingoes belonged to “an ancient ‘dog’ lineage, diverging some 5,000–10,000 years before the present, and prior to intense agriculture and the diversification of modern dogs”. The researchers claim dingoes show significant differences in the way they behave compared with domestic dogs. For example, domestic dogs bark as part of normal social interaction, but according to the researchers “Dingoes bark in threat contexts (e.g., close-range agonistic interactions and upon approach by unfamiliar humans), and as part of howl choruses” but “dingoes do not bark in affiliative interactions”. Also, dingoes do not need any human intervention to survive in their habitat.
According to Corey Bradshaw of Flinders University, one of the researchers, “It really is a fair dinkum Australian species and has been for many thousands of years.”
Not all scientists who study classification agree. A 2017 study by researchers from the Australian Museum, also published in Zootaxa, concluded that dingoes were a “feral population of an ancient breed of domestic dog that was brought to Australia by humans about 4,000 years ago”.
Editorial Comment: For those who don’t speak Australian, the term “fair dinkum” means true or real.
For once we agree with the Australian Museum – dingoes are a variety of domestic dog, just like the feral dogs of India and southern Asia, whom they are provable descended from. The fact that they have survived in a harsh environment over a few thousand years does not make them a different species. Just ask any farmer whose farm dogs have mated with dingoes and produced fertile offspring. Such examples are known to the editors of this newsletter. We have never heard dingoes bark, but that doesn’t make them a different species either.
We also agree that dingoes did not come to Australia by themselves, but came with one or more of the several groups of people who migrated to Australia from the Indian subcontinent thousands of years ago. Genetic studies of both people and dogs confirm this. See our report Australian Aborigines Came from India, here.
It is interesting that the Australian Museum, a bastion of evolutionary beliefs, estimates the arrival of dingoes as 4,000 years ago, rather than the 40,000 or more claimed by evolutionists for the arrival of Australian aborigines. The 4,000 figure is much closer to the truth for both dogs and people. The first people to migrate to Australia came here as part of the dispersal of the human population after God’s judgement at the Tower of Babel. Their route would have taken them through the Indian subcontinent and down through South East Asia, via land bridges formed during the Ice Age when sea levels were lower.
Evidence News vol. 19, No. 3
13 March 2019
Creation Research Australia
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