Many people may have heard of the dingo, but did you know it is an actual type of animal in Australia? The dingo, whose scientific name is canis lupus dingo, roams free mainly in Australia, but also Southeast Asia, where it is believed to have originated.Aborigine tribes are believed to have brought the dingo to Australia about 30,000 years ago. Dingos are classified as subspecies of the gray wolf.
Aborigines feature dingos in stories and ceremonies, and dingos are depicted on cave paintings.
Dingos live in all types of environments in Australia, including deserts, grasslands and the edges of forests. They use abandoned rabbit holes and hollow logs as their dens.
The dingo has a major environmental role in Australia as the continent's largest land predator. They will feast on rabbits, rats, and even wallabies and kangaroos. But they also dine on sheep, which makes them an enemy of farmers.
In response, farmers have poisoned the beautiful animals, which are making dingos vulnerable to extinction. Also, pure dingos have been breeding with other dogs, and the number of pure dingos is dwindling.
The dingo is a carnivore but like other wild dogs can live without meat. Actually, like all dogs, dingoes should be called omnivores because they can eat meat but don't need to, according to the Outback Australia Travel Guide.
Dingos don't bark, they only howl. The average Australian dingo is from 20 inches to 24 inches tall at the shoulder and can be about 5 feet long. Average weight is from 29 to 44 pounds, but some can become as large as 80 pounds.
They can live up to 10 years in the wild but be as old as 18 years in a domestic setting.
Dingos establish a particular territory and rarely leave that area. They live as lone wolves, but also form packs made up of their parents and offspring for several years.
They hunt for food alone mainly at night, but can hunt in packs for bigger prey