I thought this was quite a treat to read.
I’m glad they followed up on the initial findings made a few years ago! If I’m not mistaken, these dogs are the largest mammalian predator in New Guinea, correct?
It’s also nice to be reminded that even with all our modern technology in this day and age, there are still places that are very remote and barely explored.
In case i was told right, the Australian relative, Dingo is thought or known to have once been brought by humans to the continent. Could the same have happened with the New Guinea population, or were they always wild dogs?
Good question. This article (by way of wikipedia) suggests that the dogs in New Guinea also came from domesticated dogs brought be early human settlers. There is a lot of debate about timelines though.
"Wild dogs and village dogs in New Guinea: were they different?
Peter D. Dwyer A C and Monica Minnegal B
- Author Affiliations
Australian Mammalogy 38(1) 1-11 https://doi.org/10.1071/AM15011
Submitted: 14 May 2015 Accepted: 27 October 2015 Published: 27 November 2015
Recent accounts of wild-living dogs in New Guinea argue that these animals qualify as an ‘evolutionarily significant unit’ that is distinct from village dogs, have been and remain genetically isolated from village dogs and merit taxonomic recognition at, at least, subspecific level. These accounts have paid little attention to reports concerning village dogs. This paper reviews some of those reports, summarises observations from the interior lowlands of Western Province and concludes that: (1) at the time of European colonisation, wild-living dogs and most, if not all, village dogs of New Guinea comprised a single though heterogeneous gene pool; (2) eventual resolution of the phylogenetic relationships of New Guinean wild-living dogs will apply equally to all or most of the earliest New Guinean village-based dogs; and (3) there remain places where the local village-based population of domestic dogs continues to be dominated by individuals whose genetic inheritance can be traced to precolonisation canid forebears. At this time, there is no firm basis from which to assign a unique Linnaean name to dogs that live as wild animals at high altitudes of New Guinea."
Quoted from : https://www.publish.csiro.au/am/AM15011
North america has one, too: the Carolina dog. Its origins parallel those of the dingo and singing dog: it is a wild descendant of the Native people’s dogs, and based on genetic data, have been a separate, wild population from prehistoric times.