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Thylacines (Tasmanian Tiger / Wolf): Misc.

oldrover

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I smell a conspiracy! :)[/quote]

I definitely agree, I believe it was a sting in the tail of the TV schedules after 3 weeks of the Olympics.
 

oldrover

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Link to an article on Thylacine scat collected a decade or so later by the late Eric Guiler. Which also seems to suggest with some good reason if we don't find one within a year or so, it may very well be over.

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/1414
 

amyasleigh

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Very interesting article, linked-to above. All oh-so-tantalising; but overall impression, that things don't look bright for the species.

Small nitpick re the article: it says that "the last known wild individual killed was in 1918". Date that I have for that event, is 1930. By my understanding, a fair number of anecdotes of thylacine encounters in the wild in the 1920s, though animal of course getting very rare by then.
 

oldrover

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You're right Wilf Batty shot the last in 1930, anyway there were certainly captures well after 1918. Plus there's a couple of incidents reported from much later. The last I remember was in the 1990's I can't imagine it was genuine, despite photo's of a thylacine's distinctive paws.
 

Jerry_B

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Extinct Australian thylacine hunted like a big cat

The extinct Australian carnivore known as a thylacine was an ambush predator that could not outrun its prey over long distances, a new analysis shows.

The thylacine has been variously described as a "marsupial wolf" or a "Tasmanian tiger".

This study suggests the latter term might be more appropriate; the animal's hunting strategy was more like that of a big cat than that of a wolf.

Details appear in Biology Letters journal.

Thylacines once roamed mainland Australia, but their numbers declined as humans settled the continent from around 40,000 years ago and as the dingo was introduced around 4,000 years ago.

Eventually, they were confined to the island of Tasmania, which was dingo-free. The species was eventually wiped out during a large-scale eradication effort in the 19th Century and 20th centuries.

BBC Source (full article)
 

oldrover

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Very interesting with good links to similar articles. Here are some links to related pieces on the genetic article.

http://thylacine.psu.edu/supplement.pdf

http://thylacine.psu.edu/thyla2.html

The only thing is some of the background info used in the article is popular myth, such as the 1936 extinction date. This is the year they received official protection, extinction was declared fifty years later.

The fact that protection was granted the year the last captive specimen died is sometimes quoted as an example of governmental stupidity, i.e. to protect an animal only after it became extinct. Whereas in fact it was known through official expeditions, that there was still a wild population in the North West.

The Thylacine Museum website, which also has info on the Fleming expedition, also casts doubts on some other ‘facts’ about Benjamin the last known specimen.

Firstly there’s no evidence that during its lifetime the animal was ever named, the first time Benjamin was used was in the 1960’s, and then by someone whose claims to have worked at Hobart zoo at the time, proved to be false.

Secondly the only contemporary reference to the animal’s gender, made by naturalist David Fleay who was lucky enough to be bitten by it, categorically states it was a male.

http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/
 

amyasleigh

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I seem to recall reading a few years ago (lack anything definite to cite, and may well be wrong) that the species was declared officially extinct 70, rather than 50, years after 1936: i.e. in 2006.

Latching on to mention in the current “kakapo” thread, of hypothesised hope for endangered species, in being domesticated and kept as pets: there is a suggestion that this scenario was not unknown, with thylacines. Asking forgiveness for forthcoming bits of self-quoting – a passage in the IMO splendid book about the thylacine, and Tasmanian wildlife in general, “Carnivorous Nights” (described in a post of mine of 8/3/2010, on this thread), cites the words of a Tasmanian thylacine “researcher / believer”:

“...a surprising number of Tasmanians had kept captured tigers as pets. ‘Ones taken at an early age made a hell of a good pet. There was no wagging the tail – they’re physically incapable of it – but they would sit by the table while you were eating and they would follow you along. Very loyal.’ Of course, there were limits to what these wild predators would put up with. ‘There was a guy...he had one. He thought he would take him out on a lead and the tiger bit him on the backside.’ “

And – mentioned in a post of mine of 28/6/2010 on the “Possible post 1936 Thylacine sighting” thread – I understand that there is a work of alternative-history fiction, which has a scenario of pet thylacines becoming all the rage in the nineteenth century among the British upper classes; a land-office business done in exporting the beasts to the mother country, and getting them to captive-breed.

One feels that the thylacine had the most horribly bad luck: just one or two slightly more favourable turns of events, and we’d likely still have the species, even if no longer truly in the wild.
 

oldrover

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Brief mention here of there being at least one example of captive breeding. The source that it quotes appears to be reputable.

http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/ ... itsd_1.htm

More can be found in an excerpt from Paddle's 'The last Tasmanian Tiger. The history and extinction of the thylacine' on Google books by typing in thylacine captive breeding. Where there's some conjecture about why breeding in captivity was so rare.
 

amyasleigh

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Thanks for the links -- the Paddle one, especially interesting. So it would seem to be down to: before the mid-20th century, zoo conditions were ususally poor, with no attempt to make them "as much as possible, like in nature"; and with little deliberate intent to encourage the animals to breed. As regards breeding, attitude was seemingly: "if it happens, fine; if not, not".

Seems to us today, a hideously unenlightened attitude on the part of zoos; but such a view is from our perspective, and "then, was then".
 

oldrover

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Excerpts from an article on research regarding the Thylacine's hunting behavior

Both its nicknames reflect the fact that the thylacine was an awesome creature — one that makes the human race kick itself for helping
to drive such animals to extinction — but new research suggests that the “Tasmanian tiger”/“marsupial wolf” was indeed more tiger-like than wolfish.

Apparently, it's all in the elbow, which shows that the animal was more of an ambush predator — like cats — than one that chased its food — like wolves, hunting in packs. Australian Geographic explains:

the thylacine elbow joint allowed it to twist its arm in different directions, making it easier to wrestle and kill prey at close range or in a surprise attack. The arms of dog-like species, such as dingoes or wolves, are far less flexible and are usually fixed in a palm-down position, making it easier to run long distances to wear down a target.

http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/05/06/tas ... thylacine/
 

lordmongrove

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I have to say of all the cryptids, this is the one i am 100% sure is out there. Having talked to witesses like the late Peter Chapel. Also Professor Henry Nix and his BIOCLIM findings. If i were hedging my bets i'd sat Irian Jaya is the best place to look.
 

oldrover

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Would that really be the best way to go. I'm just thinking back to what lordmongrove said in another thread about the Orang Pendek, in which he mentioned a local baiting program.

I'm just assuming here but wouldn't the money needed to send an expedition over from Europe be more productively spent employing and equipping someone who was already based in the area. But then I suppose as people are the same everywhere you'd never know if they were really doing what you paid them for.
 

titch

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You are right, i just have hundreds of ideas about what the cfz can do fizzing through the leaking sponge bag i laughably call a brain. :D
 

lordmongrove

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Oldrover, If we could afford it we would employ local people to do regular searches or stay in taget areas allo over the world. At the moment we are planning to pay a very trustworthy guide to do regular searches and use a number of trail cams in Sumatra.
 

oldrover

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I'm sure that's so. I wasn't questioning any methods of yours, just wondering about the efficacy of expeditions in general.
 

oldrover

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I agree, but I was just wondering if the conventional expedition is the most cost effective to results way to go.
 

lordmongrove

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We wouldn't nesisarily do it the same way if we had less money and time constraints. We will be giving a three of trail cams to our guide Sahar who lives in Kerinci national park. He will be setting these up in the deep jungle for long periods all year round.
 

oldrover

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Well good luck with it, personally I'd guess that's pretty likely to get results.
 

oldrover

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Latching on to mention in the current “kakapo” thread, of hypothesised hope for endangered species, in being domesticated and kept as pets: there is a suggestion that this scenario was not unknown, with thylacines.

Came across a brief 1993 article by Paddle entitled 'Thylacines Associated with the royal Zoological Society of New South Wales', which provided one of my favourite anecdotes so far;


'Thylacines were frequently kept in captivity by private individuals throughout the nineteenth a n d early twentieth centuries, and thus it was not unknown for specimens to occasionally appear for sale in the canine sections of agricultural shows'

(Truly enormous url, but will provide it if wanted)
 

amyasleigh

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o/r: thanks, but for self personally, ready to take this one "as read" -- will be Internet-less for roughly a week from tomorrow, anyway.

Repeating self somewhat, from a few months ago -- I have to feel that this species was wretchedly unlucky. Just a very little bit better fortune, and it could still be (for sure) with us today, even if not properly in the wild. If it had just been more inclined to breed in captivity -- one gathers from Mr. Paddle that a hundred years-plus ago, people didn't have all that much clue about how to "make that happen".
 

lordmongrove

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Wow, i've never heard of thy;acines at dog shows! Years ago i was writing a Dr Who novel (it was never compleated and the rites to publishing Dr Who books whent back to the BBC ant their in house clique) one of the characters had a pet thylacine! I knew they adapted quite well to captivity but i had no idea they could be that tractable.
The url would be appreciated if you can find it.
 

oldrover

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Thylacine passes extinction test

People should stop wasting time and money looking for the Tasmanian tiger, according to new Australian research.

Dr Diana Fisher and Dr Simon Blomberg from the University of Queensland's school of biological sciences report their findings in a recent issue of Conservation Biology.

Since the last wild thylacine was captured in 1933, there have been ongoing searches and numerous unconfirmed sightings of the carnivorous marsupial.

But, says Fisher, such efforts are misguided.

"There's been more search efforts for the thylacine than any other mammal globally," she says.

"I think that's just a waste of money."...

Thylacines were quite frequently sighted before they disappeared, says Fisher, and this, together with the huge effort made to look for them, virtually rules out the chance that they still exist.

The researchers estimate the thylacine became extinct in the wild in 1935...

Bollocks. To me this is as slipshod as the selective sort of crap you get from the poorer end of cryptozoology. Check your bloody facts.

“ you are some sort of hillside grazer of culture. You are a sheep, a? cow, what is a biologicaly classified as a ruminant. Fuck you.”

Rich Hall

Sadly though I think the overall conclusion is probably correct.
 

amyasleigh

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o/r: Yes, 1935, hey? These characters not as omniscient as it seems they'd like to think; and plenty of strong pointers to the species lingering on in the wild, well past that date.

Admittedly the erudite Mr. Paddle, in "The Last Tasmanian Tiger", is pretty much of the same opinion as these Queensland bods: so far as he's concerned, it was "curtains" for the species on 7th September 1936, when the last thylacine known for certain to have been seen (the Hobart Zoo one) died. It would seem to me, though, that Paddle is taking the rigid but basically fully reasonable "mainstream" line, of "last known-for-sure specimen, is the basis I'm going by: present me with a thylacine, alive or recently dead, and I'll change my mind."

With great regret, I concur with you, that per present indications -- the species would appear probably to be gone.
 
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