The New Guinea highland dog is nearly identical to a canine group previously thought to be extinct, according to a study co-authored by a Texas A&M professor.
A recent international study co-authored by a Texas A&M University professor discovered that the New Guinea singing dog, a population thought to be extinct in the wild, shares nearly its entire genetic identity with the New Guinea highland dog, a rarely seen wild population in the island’s high-altitude, mountain regions.
According to Brian Davis, a co-senior author of the study and a research assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, this suggests that the two dog populations diverged within the past few decades and are essentially from the same population. Their work is published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science).
About 50 years ago, scientists brought a small number of singing dogs into captivity, and though there are more individuals living in zoos today, they are all descended from the initial founders, and have extremely low genetic diversity.
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