Dingo’s Mother A Chinese Domesticated Dog
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.
Magnus Myrén | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...