A pure-bred adult dingo, standing more than 60cm high and weighing about 15kg, is slightly smaller than a German shepherd.
Dingoes are naturally lean, with large ears permanently pricked and tails with a white tip.
Although mainly sandy-yellow in colour, some dingoes are black and tan.
A dingo’s colour is determined by where it lives. Golden yellow dingoes are found in sandy areas while darker black and tan dingoes are found in forests.
From harsh deserts to lush rainforests, the highly adaptable dingo is found in every habitat and state of Australia except Tasmania.
Dingoes favour edges of forests next to grasslands. In deserts, access to drinking water determines where the animal can live.
The dingo is not a fussy eater, and will search widely for food and eat whatever it finds.
Dingoes search for food alone, although they live in a family group which protects its territory from other dingoes.
Dingoes hunt mainly at night. Depending on the size of the prey, they hunt alone or in packs.
Their main meals of choice are Australia’s small native mammals, although domestic animals and some farm stock are also on the menu. This makes the animal unpopular with farmers.
Dingoes live for about 10 years in the wild and can start breeding once they reach the age of one or two.
Unlike the domestic dog, the dingo breeds only once a year. Litters of around four to six pups are born in areas such as a hollow log or under a ledge.
As dingoes have inter-bred with introduced domestic dogs, pure-bred dingoes are becoming harder to spot.
The relatively isolated Fraser Island, off the eastern coast of Queensland, is thought to have one of the purest remaining strains of dingo.