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Ancient dog species rediscovered in New Guinea

/ 12:50 PM March 29, 2017
Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 12.20.10 PM

Image from New Guinea Highland Wild Dog Foundation (NGHWDF).

With the last recorded sighting of the New Guinea Highland wild dog decades ago, scientists believed that the ancient dog breed was gone forever.

But lo and behold, researchers have rediscovered the existence of a healthy population in one of the most remote areas of New Guinea.

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After confirming the species through multiple DNA analyses, scientists from the New Guinea Highland Wild Dog Foundation (NGHWDF) officially announced that the rare dog breed is no longer on the list of extinct animals.

“The discovery and confirmation of the highland wild dog for the first time in over half a century is not only exciting, but an incredible opportunity for science,” the group behind the amazing discovery said in a Science Alert report.

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Through an exploration last year around the New Guinea’s remote central mountain spine, the NGHWDF team, led by zoologist James K. McIntyre, managed to collect 100 photographs of at least 15 wild canines including males, females and pups, freely roaming in isolation and away from human contact.

”The 2016 Expedition was able to locate, observe, gather documentation and biological samples, and confirm through DNA testing that at least some specimens still exist and thrive in the highlands of New Guinea,” the group confirmed.

Prior to the discovery, the magnificent creatures were reportedly sighted in 2005 and 2012 through unconfirmed photographs.

The dogs are best known for their attractive features—mainly their coats—which are golden in color. Some were also documented to have black, tan and  cream variants, while their tails carry a distinct fish hook shape.  Khristian Ibarrola /ra

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TAGS: ancient breed, discovery, New Guinea Highland wild dog, New Guinea Highland Wild Dog Foundation. New Guinea
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