Dingo (Canis dingo, C. familiaris dingo, …—G.R. Roberts

Australian wild dog (Canis dingo, C. familiaris dingo, or C. lupus dingo), apparently introduced from Asia 3,500–4,000 years ago. It has short, soft fur, a bushy tail, and erect, pointed ears. It is about 4 ft (1.2 m) long, including the 12-in. (30-cm) tail, and stands about 24 in. (60 cm) tall at the shoulder. Its colour varies from yellowish to reddish brown, often with white underparts, paws, and tail tip. Dingoes hunt alone or in small groups. They formerly preyed mostly on kangaroos but now feed mainly on rabbits and sometimes on livestock. They contributed, through competition for resources, to the extermination of the Tasmanian wolf and the Tasmanian devil on the Australian mainland.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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