Detectives discover dingo diet

April 2010

Putting our collections to good use

What had the dingo eaten?

These pieces of skin and a single toenail were recovered from a Dingo Scat which came from the Wet Tropics of North Queensland.

Answer

Feet and tail of an Agile Wallaby specimen Agile Wallaby feet from our collection.

It may not seem much to work with but these fragments can still provide lots of information. The pieces of skin and the toenail were compared with a range of specimens in the Queensland Museum collection. By direct comparison we were able to identify the remains as the skin from the sole of the hind foot and a toenail from a young Agile Wallaby (Macropus agilis).

Forensic-style analysis of animal remains, hair, scats, and other traces can provide valuable evidence of where animals have lived, what they are doing, and who is eating who. The Queensland Museum's carefully preserved collections of animal specimens (and dried scats or poo) are a vital resource for nature detectives.

Queensland Museum's Find out about... is proudly supported by the Thyne Reid Foundation and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.