[Paper] New dates on dingo bones from Madura Cave provide oldest firm evidence for arrival of the species in Australia

No Comments

First direct dates of dingo bones from a site in Western Australia. Dingoes are one of the few mammals that crossed water (most likely accompanying humans) before European arrival. The dates and location of the site suggest that dingoes spread throughout the continent relatively quickly after their introduction.

New dates on dingo bones from Madura Cave provide oldest firm evidence for arrival of the species in Australia
Balme et al.
Scientific Reports
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-28324-x

The dingo is the only placental land mammal aside from murids and bats to have made the water crossings to reach Australia prior to European arrival. It is thought that they arrived as a commensal animal with people, some time in the mid Holocene. However, the timing of their arrival is still a subject of major debate with published age estimates varying widely. This is largely because the age estimates for dingo arrival are based on archaeological deposit dates and genetic divergence estimates, rather than on the dingo bones themselves. Currently, estimates vary from between 5000–4000 years ago, for finds from archaeological contexts, and as much as 18,000 based on DNA age estimates. The timing of dingo arrival is important as post arrival they transformed Indigenous societies across mainland Australia and have been implicated in the extinction of a number of animals including the Tasmanian tiger. Here we present the results of direct dating of dingo bones from their oldest known archaeological context, Madura Cave on the Nullarbor Plain. These dates demonstrate that dingoes were in southern Australia by between 3348 and 3081 years ago. We suggest that following their introduction the dingo may have spread extremely rapidly throughout mainland Australia.

Source: New dates on dingo bones from Madura Cave provide oldest firm evidence for arrival of the species in Australia | Nature Scientific Reports

See also:

Dingoes arrived in Australia earlier than previously thought; through mainland Southeast Asia

No Comments

A study published earlier this month in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B suggests an earlier arrival of the dingo to Australia, through a mainland Southeast Asia route instead of island Southeast Asia.

Om nom nom
photo credit: Tom Purves

Dingoes originated in China 18,000 years ago [Link no longer active]
Australian Geographic, 13 September 2011

Mitochondrial DNA data indicate an introduction through Mainland Southeast Asia for Australian dingoes and Polynesian domestic dogs
Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 07 September 2011
Read More