SYDNEY, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Often referred to as Australia's native dog, the dingo may have arrived on the continent later than previously thought, according to radiocarbon dating by Australian scientists.
The study released late Thursday by researchers at the University of Western Australia and the Australian National University tested ancient dingo bones found in a cave in the central Nullarbor Plain desert.
The precise dating technique placed the dogs arrival in Australia between 3,348 and 3,081 years ago, compared with previous estimates of between 5,000 and 4,000 years ago.
"What we're saying is, well, actually they got here later than that, and their dispersal was really quick as they were aided by people," study co-author Prof. Jane Balme from the University of Western Australia said.
Since there is no land bridge between Australia and Southeast Asia, it is thought the dogs travelled here by boat with human visitors, who were potentially trading with the northern Indigenous population.
"When they came to Australia, they must've been domesticated," Balme said.
"All the places they might have come from, such as Southeast Asia, dogs were domesticated."
Dingoes appear to have existed alongside the camps of Indigenous Australians, however the species also became highly successful in the Australian wild.
It is thought that the dingo drove a number of species, including the tasmanian tiger, to extinction on the mainland.