What Do Dingoes Eat? Prey Animals That Dingoes Eat

The dingo, known by its scientific name of Canis lupus dingo, is a wild feral dog that only lives in Australia. Dingo fur can be colored either ginger tan, black, or cream.

Ginger tan-colored dingoes account for 74% of the dingo population. Dingoes hunt alone and in packs. Dingoes’ food is similar to other pack-canines such as wolves.

What Do Dingoes Eat?

Dingoes are mainly carnivorous and they eat a large range of mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. They occasionally will consume the seeds of plants and trees.

Studies have shown that dingoes prey on 177 different species. Dingoes’ prey consists of 72.3% mammals, 18.8% birds, 3.3% seeds, 1.8% reptiles, and 3.8% which is made up of a variety of insects, fish, crabs, and frogs.

The mammals and birds that make up their diet consist of the red kangaroo, swamp wallaby, cattle, dusky rat, magpie geese, common brushtail possum, long-haired rat, agile wallaby, the European rabbit, and the common wombat.

What dingoes eat in coastal and river-filled regions also includes fish, seals, penguins, and other sea birds. Dingoes drink water every 3-5 days but have been observed going without water for up to 22 days, even during the strong heat of the Australian summer.

Dingoes will form packs to help hunt large prey. They will often chase their prey and herd it into an area to make it easier to contain and attack it.

Dingoes can run for long periods of time and will continue to chase their prey until it is too exhausted to continue.

The dingoes will then bite the back legs of their prey, and once it begins to slow down, the dingoes will begin to bite its neck, cutting off its air supply.

Dingoes’ diet is similar when they hunt alone, the main difference is in the way they stalk their prey.

Solitary dingoes will use their nose to follow the scent of their prey instead of hunting by sight as they would in a pack.

When a dingo hunts alone the whole process of stalking and pouncing on the creature can take several hours.

Do Dingoes have a predator?

Dingoes are apex predators in their habitat. They peacefully co-exist with the other major carnivorous mammal of Australia, the marsupial Quoll.

Although what do dingoes eat can occasionally be described as young buffalo calves, dingoes have actually been known to have been killed by adult buffaloes; that will kick and stampede dingoes to protect their young.

Dingoes can also be killed by venomous snake bites, although this is quite rare. Crocodiles also pose an occasional threat to dingoes, but they are not their natural predator.

Dingo pups on the other hand are often preyed upon by wedge-tailed eagles and monitor lizards. The main risk posed to dingoes is from humans, who hunt them for their fur or enter them into the illegal pet trade.

Can you have a dingo for a pet?

Breeding dingoes for domestic purposes is generally frowned upon. This is because it is thought it could lead to the eradication of pure breed wild dingoes. To ensure their survival, breeding between domestic dogs and dingoes is not encouraged although it does happen.  

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