Dingoes Aren’t Just Wild Dogs
Rather than being the descendants of feral mutts, dingoes are actually in their own unique taxonomical corner
by Rachel Nuwer
Dingoes might look like your run-of-the-mill mongrel pooch, and for years, researchers assumed the dingo’s ancestors were domesticated dogs from East Asia that subsequently went wild. But it turns out that dingoes are more unique than that. They are not only a distinct species, but also a distinct group of predators, separate from dogs and wolves, The Scientist reports.
Dingoes arrived in Australia several thousands years ago, and they were first mentioned as a species in 1793. At that time, they were called Canis dingo. However, their official name was soon changed to Canis lupus dingo, on the assumption that dingoes were, in fact, a subspecies of wolf and within the same evolutionary clade as domestic dogs.
In a new study, researchers challenged that assumption. They examined 69 dingo skulls that dated back to 1900 or earlier—presumably before dingoes would have encountered and interbred with domesticated dogs, which only arrived in Australia when Europeans did. Dingoes, the researchers found, have anatomical features that set them apart from dogs and wolves, including a wider head and longer snout, The Scientist writes. The team also found that dingoes don’t necessarily have to be tan-colored; they can be black, white or dark brown, too…
(read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/dingoes-arent-just-wild-dogs-180950384/?utm_source=facebook.com&no-ist)
photo: PartnerHund

Dingoes Aren’t Just Wild Dogs

Rather than being the descendants of feral mutts, dingoes are actually in their own unique taxonomical corner

by Rachel Nuwer

Dingoes might look like your run-of-the-mill mongrel pooch, and for years, researchers assumed the dingo’s ancestors were domesticated dogs from East Asia that subsequently went wild. But it turns out that dingoes are more unique than that. They are not only a distinct species, but also a distinct group of predators, separate from dogs and wolves, The Scientist reports.

Dingoes arrived in Australia several thousands years ago, and they were first mentioned as a species in 1793. At that time, they were called Canis dingo. However, their official name was soon changed to Canis lupus dingo, on the assumption that dingoes were, in fact, a subspecies of wolf and within the same evolutionary clade as domestic dogs.

In a new study, researchers challenged that assumption. They examined 69 dingo skulls that dated back to 1900 or earlier—presumably before dingoes would have encountered and interbred with domesticated dogs, which only arrived in Australia when Europeans did. Dingoes, the researchers found, have anatomical features that set them apart from dogs and wolves, including a wider head and longer snout, The Scientist writes. The team also found that dingoes don’t necessarily have to be tan-colored; they can be black, white or dark brown, too…

(read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/dingoes-arent-just-wild-dogs-180950384/?utm_source=facebook.com&no-ist)

photo: PartnerHund

libutron
libutron:

Some facts about the evolutionary relationships of charismatic dholes
Canids form one of the most prominent families of carnivores, with 36 interesting taxa in 13 genera that occur throughout most of the world. As a family, canids occupy every continent except Antarctica. Foxes, dholes, dingoes, wolves, jackals, coyotes and various dogs comprise the family. 
Within the canid family the dhole is something of an enigma and it is classified in a genus of its own - Cuon. All dholes belongs to the species Cuon alpinus, which includes nine extant subspecies.
The genus Cuon is post-Pleistocene in origin. In 1945 Simpson placed the dhole in the subfamily Simocyoninae of the family Canidae, together with the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) and the bush dog (Speothos venaticus) of South America on the basis of shared anatomical features, most notably the reduction of the role of the crushing post-carnassial molars. Many have questioned Simpson’s classification arguing that similarities in dentition are due to convergent evolution because of a highly predatory diet.
Currently, evolutionary relationships within the family Canidae, reconstructed using comparative karyology, allozyme electrophoresis, mtDNA protein coding sequence data, and super tree method, as well as the relationships at the genus level studied with mtDNA, shows that the living Canidae is divided into five distinct groupings. These include the wolf-like canids, which consists of the coyote, grey wolf, Ethiopian wolf, jackals, dhole and African wild dog. This clade is associated with a group containing bush dog and maned wolf in some trees and, further, this larger grouping is associated with the South American foxes. The red fox group is a fourth independent clade, and finally, three lineages have long distinct evolutionary histories and are survived today by the raccoon dog, bat-eared fox and island and gray fox. 
The wolf genus Canis is a monophyletic group that also includes the dhole. Basal to Canis and Cuon are the African wild dog and a clade consisting of two South American canids, the bush dog (Speothos venaticus) and the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus). Consequently, although the African wild dog preys on large game as does the grey wolf and dhole, it is not closely related to either species but is sister to the clade containing these species. This phylogeny implies that the trenchant-heeled carnassial now found only in Speothos, Cuon and Lycaon, evolved at least twice or was primitive and lost in other wolf-like canids and the maned wolf.
In summary, dholes are part of a clade of wolf-like canids within which is related more closely to the extant jackals than to wolves.
[Source]
Photo: a pair of Indian dholes in wild, Cuon alpinus dukhunensis, from Maharastra National Park, Central India | ©Sandeep Dutta

libutron:

Some facts about the evolutionary relationships of charismatic dholes

Canids form one of the most prominent families of carnivores, with 36 interesting taxa in 13 genera that occur throughout most of the world. As a family, canids occupy every continent except Antarctica. Foxes, dholes, dingoes, wolves, jackals, coyotes and various dogs comprise the family. 

Within the canid family the dhole is something of an enigma and it is classified in a genus of its own - Cuon. All dholes belongs to the species Cuon alpinus, which includes nine extant subspecies.

The genus Cuon is post-Pleistocene in origin. In 1945 Simpson placed the dhole in the subfamily Simocyoninae of the family Canidae, together with the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) and the bush dog (Speothos venaticus) of South America on the basis of shared anatomical features, most notably the reduction of the role of the crushing post-carnassial molars. Many have questioned Simpson’s classification arguing that similarities in dentition are due to convergent evolution because of a highly predatory diet.

Currently, evolutionary relationships within the family Canidae, reconstructed using comparative karyology, allozyme electrophoresis, mtDNA protein coding sequence data, and super tree method, as well as the relationships at the genus level studied with mtDNA, shows that the living Canidae is divided into five distinct groupings. These include the wolf-like canids, which consists of the coyote, grey wolf, Ethiopian wolf, jackals, dhole and African wild dog. This clade is associated with a group containing bush dog and maned wolf in some trees and, further, this larger grouping is associated with the South American foxes. The red fox group is a fourth independent clade, and finally, three lineages have long distinct evolutionary histories and are survived today by the raccoon dog, bat-eared fox and island and gray fox. 

The wolf genus Canis is a monophyletic group that also includes the dhole. Basal to Canis and Cuon are the African wild dog and a clade consisting of two South American canids, the bush dog (Speothos venaticus) and the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus). Consequently, although the African wild dog preys on large game as does the grey wolf and dhole, it is not closely related to either species but is sister to the clade containing these species. This phylogeny implies that the trenchant-heeled carnassial now found only in Speothos, Cuon and Lycaon, evolved at least twice or was primitive and lost in other wolf-like canids and the maned wolf.

In summary, dholes are part of a clade of wolf-like canids within which is related more closely to the extant jackals than to wolves.

[Source]

Photo: a pair of Indian dholes in wild, Cuon alpinus dukhunensis, from Maharastra National Park, Central India | ©Sandeep Dutta

dendroica
endless-animals:

Raccoon Dog (Carnivora: Canidae: Nyctereutes procyonoides)
Often mistaken for a badger or a raccoon, the raccoon dog is actually more closely related to wild dogs. That being said, they act more like raccoons as they scavenge for berries along riverbanks. Raccoon dogs are often hunted as pests. Their luck in the illegal fur trade is no better, often attracting the attention of animal welfare groups. Their adaptability in the wild allows them to quickly become an unwelcome invasive species out of Asia. However, this sneaky trickster is well honoured in Japanese folklore as a master of disguise. Raccoon dog, or “Tanuki”, figurines are often places outside of Buddhist to bring good fortune by showing off a friendly smile.

endless-animals:

Raccoon Dog (Carnivora: Canidae: Nyctereutes procyonoides)

Often mistaken for a badger or a raccoon, the raccoon dog is actually more closely related to wild dogs. That being said, they act more like raccoons as they scavenge for berries along riverbanks. Raccoon dogs are often hunted as pests. Their luck in the illegal fur trade is no better, often attracting the attention of animal welfare groups. Their adaptability in the wild allows them to quickly become an unwelcome invasive species out of Asia. However, this sneaky trickster is well honoured in Japanese folklore as a master of disguise. Raccoon dog, or “Tanuki”, figurines are often places outside of Buddhist to bring good fortune by showing off a friendly smile.

Protect Our Predators
Wildlife Services kills an average of 227 coyotes a day - yes, a day. 
This tax-payer supported rogue operation mostly kills coyotes to benefit the livestock industry, yet there are plenty of non-lethal ways to coexist with this predator. 
Please send your message to US Dept. of Agriculture now to support a far-reaching investigation into this vicious assault on our nation’s wildlife - the lives of hundreds of thousands of coyotes and other animals are depending on it. 
Send a message.
Read more here: NRDC Switchboard 
(via: Natural Resource Defense Council)

Protect Our Predators

Wildlife Services kills an average of 227 coyotes a day - yes, a day.

This tax-payer supported rogue operation mostly kills coyotes to benefit the livestock industry, yet there are plenty of non-lethal ways to coexist with this predator.

Please send your message to US Dept. of Agriculture now to support a far-reaching investigation into this vicious assault on our nation’s wildlife - the lives of hundreds of thousands of coyotes and other animals are depending on it.

Send a message.

Read more here: NRDC Switchboard

(via: Natural Resource Defense Council)

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libutron:

Lycalopex griseus | ©Felipe Rabanal
Chilla fox male specimen, photographed on the slopes of Volcan Osorno, Chile.
The Chilla fox or Patagonian fox, Lycalopex griseus - Syn. Pseudalopex griseus - is a small South American canid. Despite their name, they are not true foxes but are a unique canid genus more closely related to the wolves, dogs, jackals and coyotes than they are to foxes, which they somewhat resemble and after which they are named.
Lycalopex griseus is the most common species, and it is known for its large ears and a highly marketable, russet-fringed pelt. It is wide spread throughout Patagonia and western Argentina. 
The species was introduced to Tierra del Fuego in 1951 to control the European rabbit. This area now has the highest population density. These foxes are also found on several small islands off the western coast of West Falkland, in Chile, southern Peru, and are believed to exist in central Peru. They live on both sides of the Andes Mountains (23° S to 55° S).

libutron:

Lycalopex griseus | ©Felipe Rabanal

Chilla fox male specimen, photographed on the slopes of Volcan Osorno, Chile.

The Chilla fox or Patagonian fox, Lycalopex griseus - Syn. Pseudalopex griseus - is a small South American canid. Despite their name, they are not true foxes but are a unique canid genus more closely related to the wolves, dogs, jackals and coyotes than they are to foxes, which they somewhat resemble and after which they are named.

Lycalopex griseus is the most common species, and it is known for its large ears and a highly marketable, russet-fringed pelt. It is wide spread throughout Patagonia and western Argentina.

The species was introduced to Tierra del Fuego in 1951 to control the European rabbit. This area now has the highest population density. These foxes are also found on several small islands off the western coast of West Falkland, in Chile, southern Peru, and are believed to exist in central Peru. They live on both sides of the Andes Mountains (23° S to 55° S).