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The First DomesticationHow Wolves and Humans Coevolved$
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Raymond Pierotti and Brandy R Fogg

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300226164

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300226164.001.0001

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“Dingo Makes Us Human”

“Dingo Makes Us Human”

Aboriginal Peoples and Canis Lupus Dingo

(p.125) Chapter Six “Dingo Makes Us Human”
The First Domestication

Raymond Pierotti

Brandy R. Fogg

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the distinctive situation in Australia, where Homo sapiens and dingoes coexisted for several thousand years. These two species were the only large placental mammals on a continent dominated by marsupial mammals and large reptiles. The dingo group represents a unique branch of canid domestication; they live independently, either wild or semi-wild, but also associate with humans, including hunting and even sleeping with them. Dingoes demonstrate that it is possible for an animal previously domesticated to live and reproduce successfully without humans. The relationship between dingoes and the Aboriginals provides a model for investigating the process of domestication in canids, strongly suggesting that domestication is a multistep and potentially reversible process. It also reveals how a canid can exist in a situation where it may or may not choose to live with humans, functioning well in either case.

Keywords:   Australia, Homo sapiens, dingoes, canid domestication, Aboriginals

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