BRISBANE, Australia, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Genetic research has solved the mystery of the origins of dingoes in Australia, a report said Monday.
The research concludes the animals descended from domestic dogs introduced from South East Asia about 5,000 years ago.
The ancestry of dingoes has been much debated, New Scientist reported. The time of arrival, the source and type of animal were all uncertain.
"There hasn't been a lot of evidence, so everything has been speculation," said Alan Wilton of the University of New South Wales.
Wilton at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, studied a highly variable portion of mitochondrial DNA from more than 200 dingoes from all states in Australia, from dogs from all continents and from wolves.
"We found that dingoes fall right into the main domestic dog clade," Wilton says.
Dingo ancestors might have been brought to Australia on Malaccan trading boats, he says, though more likely as a food source than as a pet.