Erik_Karits (CC0), Pixabay

Apparently, there’s an ancient breed of dogs called the New Guinea Singing Dog. They are considered extinct in the wild as there has been no sighting of them for almost 50 years. But this year, researchers confirmed the reappearance of the ancient breed in the highlands of Papua, Indonesia!

The dogs are an extremely rare breed named after their singing abilities. When they howl, they create a unique and melodic sound, comparable to that of a humpback whale. At the start, there is a sharp increase in pitch and, in the end, very high frequencies.

Before this year’s sighting, it is believed that the New Guinea singing dog only exists in captivity. There are only 200 of them in conservation centers or zoos all over the world. And all of them actually descended from the last sightings way back in 1970.

It was actually in 2016 when the researchers first spotted the wild dogs. However, only a few years later did they decide to do in-depth research to confirm the breeds. So they went back to the highlands of Papua and collected blood samples as well as the behavioral, physiological, and demographic data.

A comparison of the DNA suggests that there is a 70% genetic match with the captive New Guinea singing dogs. This means that the three dogs that were sighted are of the same breed.

The senior author of the publication, Elaine Ostrander, hopes to preserve these newly-discovered New Guinea singing dogs. They plan to do so by breeding them with those they already have in captivity as the in-bred ones have lost diversity in their genes.

Ostrander emphasizes that this ancient breed is really unlike any other dog. Their harmonic vocalization is so unique that you won’t find anything like it in nature.

Source: New Guinea Highland Wild Dog Foundation via Facebook


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