Intraspecific killing behaviour of canids: how dingoes kill dingoes

Behrendorff, Linda and Belonje, Grant and Allen, Benjamin L. ORCID: (2018) Intraspecific killing behaviour of canids: how dingoes kill dingoes. Ethology Ecology and Evolution, 30. pp. 88-98. ISSN 0394-9370


Intraspecific conflict is an important process structuring carnivore populations. However, few data are available describing the precise mode of killing used by carnivores, especially medium-sized carnivores that can exhibit behaviours typically associated with either smaller or larger species. From records of free-ranging Australian dingoes killed during intraspecific fighting, we describe the types, location and frequency of injuries sustained, to assist in identifying killing behaviours common to medium-sized carnivores, or mesopredators. Observed injuries included superficial minor cuts and other wounds, deep punctures (bite marks or holes), severe lacerations to internal organs, tissue bruising and crushing, mutilation of muscle tissue, perforation of the chest and abdominal cavities, and a variety of bone fractures. The dingoes in this study predominately died from gross internal haemorrhaging caused by crushing bites coupled with vigorous shaking to the head, throat, neck and ventral chest areas. Our data demonstrate that dingoes used a ‘bite and shake’
mode of killing. This killing behaviour is dissimilar to those exhibited by large carnivores, but is consistent with behaviours shown by other medium-sized carnivores.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online 16/05/17. Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2017 23:13
Last Modified: 24 May 2022 06:14
Uncontrolled Keywords: attack; canis familiaris; Fraser Island; intraspecific aggression; wild dog
Fields of Research (2008): 06 Biological Sciences > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Fields of Research (2020): 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310901 Animal behaviour
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
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