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30.9.03

There will be no "dingo ate your baby" joke here.

First Dingo "Was Indonesian Pet"

The Australian dingo probably descended from a single domestic dog brought from what is now Indonesia, according to the latest scientific research.

The mother of all dingoes could have been a single pregnant female which travelled to Australia 5,000 years ago.

-- via The Hall of Ma'at


This is a good example of how a little change can snowball into something huge. The one-dog theory fits reasonably well with the absence of evidence of deeper cultural contact between Australia and the Lapita, the seafarers who are the likely source of the original Dingoes (as contrasted to northern New Guinea, where Lapita settled and blended, genetically and culturally, with the natives). Yet the arrival of the dingo had major impacts on the ecology of the continent, as they drove the two major marsupial predators -- the Tasmanian tiger and Tasmanian devil, so named because they only survived in dingo-free Tasmania -- to extinction on the mainland. The impact on human culture seems to be less significant, as the Aborigines never fully re-domesticated the feral dingoes (though they did establish partnerships with them). I wonder if there would be any impact on the cognitive or religious life -- in particular, I wonder whether Aborigines took note of and made an issue of the fact that dingoes, like humans but unlike any other Australian mammal, are placental. Something to research next time I'm bored.

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