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New Guinea Singing Dog

New Guinea Singing Dog
Canis lupus hallstromi

Family:

Canidae, Dog family

Conservation Status:

Few remain in the wild

Distribution:

New Guinea

Habitat:

Mountains and thick forests

Factoid:

Singing dogs have a unique structure at the back of their mouth that may help them make some of their unusual vocalizations.

They are  a small-to-medium-sized dog of foxlike appearance, with a wedge-shaped head, pricked ears, obliquely-set triangular eyes, plush coat, and a brushy tail. They are extremely agile and graceful.

They use their acute sense of hearing in addition to sight and scent to locate prey. Because their senses are several times as acute as the human’s, the dog can locate hidden prey, and are especially useful for treeing game and locating small animals hidden in crevices or holes. Their incredible structural flexibility allows them to pass their bodies through any opening wide enough to admit their head. They are also very efficient diggers.

They get their name from their vocalization. They have a distinctive and melodious howl, which is characterized by a sharp increase in pitch at the start and very high frequencies at the end. During chorus howling, one dog starts and others join in shortly afterward.  In most cases, chorus howling is well synchronized, and the howls of the group end nearly simultaneously. The closest known relative is the dingo of Australia.

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