- The last breed of the singing dogs also known as the New Guinea dogs was seen in 1970
- In 2016, scientists spotted wild dogs with characteristics similar to the New Guinea dogs
- Research work that involved collection of the dog's blood, hair, scat, tissue and saliva samples began
- A comparison of DNA extracted from blood collected from three of the dogs suggested they had very similar genome sequences with the singing dogs
- Researchers noted the New Guinea dogs were swift in climbing and jumping just like a cat
- Their unique harmonic wailing was linked to the song of the humpback whale
A rare breed of a dog that has the ability to sing by producing harmonic sounds has been rediscovered after 50 years of being presumed extinct.
The dogs popularly known as the New Guinea singing dogs were last seen in 1970 and scientists thought they were extinct until 2016 when some breeds that exhibited similar characteristics were spotted on remote Papua highlands in Indonesia.
According to CNN, the researchers studied their DNA comparisons but did not come to a proper conclusion until 2018 when a new team went back to the highlands and collected fresh biological samples of the wild dogs.
A new expedition returned to the study site in 2018 to collect detailed biological samples to confirm whether these highland wild dogs truly are the predecessors of the singing dogs.
The team collected blood, hair, scat, tissue and saliva samples. The researchers also took the dogs' measurements, weight, age and general health and body condition, and two animals received GPS collars in order to study their travel habits and territories.
A comparison of DNA extracted from blood collected from three of the dogs suggested they have very similar genome sequences and were much more closely linked to each other than any other canine, according to research published in the journal PNAS.
"They look most related to a population of conservation biology new guinea singing dogs that were descended from eight dogs brought to the United States many, many, many years ago, said Elaine Ostrander, an investigator at the National Institutes of Health and senior.
Although there have been photographs and unverified reports on the existence of New Guinea dogs in recent years, researchers were worried that the unique dogs could have become extinct due to loss of habitat and mixing with feral village dogs.
A scientific report published by San San Diego zoo indicated the singing dogs have extremely flexible joints and spine.
They are also swift in climbing and jumping just like a cat. The dog's unique harmonic wailing was linked to the song of the humpback whale.
The dog is also said to be very cheerful, gentle and fairly intelligent compared to common dogs.
Researchers also noted the singing dogs were extremely shy and outstandingly canny and usually live in pairs or small groups, but they do not form permanent packs.