5 Things You Didn’t Know About New Guinea Singing Dogs
Everyone has heard dogs bark. If you have a dog, you may have even heard a variety of vocalizations that range from sounding like human-speech to whining and even crying. The various sounds dogs can make is pretty astonishing, but you haven’t heard anything quite like the New Guinea Singing Dog!
New Guinea Singing Dogs are rare animals that come from the forested highlands of the island of New Guinea. Sometimes simply called “singing dogs” these guys are truly unique and as you might have guessed, they sing. Today we’re going to learn all about the amazing singing dog, which you can visit on your next trip to the park.
- At first glance, New Guinea Singing Dogs might seem very similar to the dogs in your neighborhood, but in reality they have wider cheekbones, narrow muzzles and ears shaped like petals. This gives them a distinctive look for a canine.
- Singing dogs have to hunt in steep areas covered by trees, which has given them extremely flexible spines and joints.They are actually kind of catlike in some ways, and they can even jump and climb trees! These are all adaptations that allow them to thrive in the steep, heavily forested lands.
- Singing dogs are quite territorial in the wild, but because they are rare and live in areas that are hard to get to, a lot isn’t known about their behaviors regarding hunting. It is believed that they hunt alone and we know they prey on smaller mammals, like small reptiles and birds.
- Singing dogs have litters of up to 4 pups at a time. Both parents participate in raising and protecting the pups, which is necessary to keep them safe from predators. Like other canines, playing and living in family units teaches the pups socialization and hunting skills.
- Singing dogs do more than bark and howl, they use a large range of unique vocalizations to communicate with each other. They have a variety of pitches and sounds that can be described as singing, screaming, yelping and whining. When one group starts to sing, others will join in, adding their own distinct voices to the mix.
The New Guinea Singing Dog was only discovered in the 50’s, and there has been a lot of debate over the true nature of the animal. For some time it was thought they were simply feral dogs that were once domesticated, but there is a fossil record to show that the species is quite old. No matter how they came to be, however, the singing dog is a true treasure that you’ll want to try and see on your next visit to the park.