The dingo has been classified as a distinct Australian wild candid, or member of the dog family, separate from dogs and wolves.
A research team, led by Dr Matthew Crowther from the University of Sydney, sourced pure-bred dingo specimens pre-dating 1900, examining 69 skull specimens and six skin specimens to create a standard reference for the dingo.
They found that the physical features that identify dingoes were their relatively broad head with a long snout, erect ears and bushy tail. The dingo’s iconic tan coat colour, however, is not a defining characteristic of the species.
Confusion over whether the dingo was a distinct species stemmed from its early scientific classification during colonisation. The study has resurrected the species name Canis dingo, first published by German naturalist Friedrich Meyer in 1793.Read more at UNSW