Turns Out Dingo DNA Is Somewhere Between Doggos & Legit Wolves So Pls Don’t Go Patting Them

A new scientific study of dingoes has found that they’re not quite dogs or wolves — those fun little critters are actually somewhere in between. God I love science. Now to text my cousins who insist their childhood dog was part dingo.

The new research comes from a big ‘ol study led by La Trobe Uni and published in the Science Advances journal.

It looked at the DNA of a dingo called Sandy Malaki who was found in South Australia when she was just a pup. I love her already.

Sandy won an international competition for the World’s Most Interesting Genome in 2017 meaning her DNA was sequenced and studied. Good for her!

The researchers also used the genomic sequences of a Greenland wolf, a labrador, a boxer, a great dane, a German shepherd and a basenji, one of the oldest breeds of dogs.

According to the study, the dingo is an “intermediary” between domestic dogs and wolves.

“What the study showed was that it really is an early offshoot of modern breed dogs, [but] it’s separate from them and it really sits off the branch from the ancestor wolf,” Associate Professor Matthew Field from James Cook University told the ABC.

“[Dingoes] really lived in isolation until about 200 years ago when breed dogs were brought back to Australia, and what our study shows is that they really did adapt to the environment in Australia.

“They are unique to this ecosystem and sort of unique to the evolution of dogs as well.”

One of the big differences between dingoes and doggos is to do with diet. The researches investigated how many copies of the amylase gene — the protein enzyme which breaks down starch — dingoes had.

Turns out, dingoes are really similar to wolves in that respect. They only have one copy of the gene, a big difference from domesticated dogs who tend to be able to digest lots of starchy stuff.

Study co-author and La Trobe University academic Professor Bill Ballard told The Guardian that wild dingoes and wild dogs would probably be interested in different kinds of food.

“If a pure dingo eats very different things to a wild dog, then it’s going to have a different position in the ecosystem,” he said.

This is the biggest revelation since eight-year-old me discovered koalas weren’t actually bears. I’m still not over the betrayal.