Thylacines, Vampyres & Vampirism

oldrover

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As well as the crimp extinction has naturally put in the thylacine’s day, it also regularly suffers the indignity of having a pretty wide selection of myths and misconceptions attached to it, two of which are to do with vampirism. Of these the first to appear was contemporary to the living animal and found a prominent place in the formal literature. The second is most likely an internet myth, but probably no madder than the first one for all that.

The first older misconception is that the animals were themselves sanguivores. Apparently;

The people who lived in Tiger country, those who suffered it, hunted it and killed it, called the dog mischievous, sneaky, cruel and wasteful. But few believed that the dog was a 'blood feeder' or vampire dog. Hunters and trappers, 'old-timers with demonstrable knowledge of the species', liked to pull your leg about this. They told tall stories of how the thylacine would kill, and then drink the blood of its victim and touch nothing else except maybe the blood-rich kidneys. Few Tasmanians took these
stories seriously.

Scientists somehow fell for the story. Early in the twentieth century, before farmers, hunters and trappers made the dog extinct, learned journals and books started to describe the Tiger as a 'blood feeder'. Science is usually ahead of popular understanding. In this case, science was duped and dudded. No-one's sure how this
happened.

http://www.hyperhistory.org/images/asse ... tigpdf.PDF

As the article goes on to say Paddle, author of ‘The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine’, speculates it might stem from an incident when a British academic, lost and forced to take shelter overnight with a local shepherd, found himself at the mercy of his host's imagination. Sadly though as nice an idea as this may be anyone who’s read his work will realise that, although he’s a very thorough researcher, Dr Bob spends a fair bit of time circling the airport.

Aside from where the evidence may be leading us now, it’s worth noting that however unexpected it would be in such a large animal, blood drinking and the extreme types of selective feeding, outlined later on in the article, were still being described as recently as the very late 90’s.

The second and more recent idea is that at about thirteen minutes into the 1922 film ‘Nosferatu the Vampyre’, a thylacine makes a cameo appearance.
As immediately unlikely as this sounds, in a way it's almost plausible as there's a long standing interest in the animal in Germany, possibly the most important work about the thylacine to date is Heinz Meoller’s ‘Der Beutelwolf’. The trouble is though that there’s no way anyone could have had access to one in Germany in 1922, it’s too late. The last thylacine in Germany died in Cologne twelve years before the film was made and the last on mainland Europe eight years before, aside from which they were all held in zoos. The only examples held in Europe later than 1922 were in London.

Or you could forget all that and just watch the film, and after around thirteen minutes be pretty disappointed to see a striped hyena wander onto the screen.
 

PaulTaylor

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So, wait a minute! If a thylacine bites a sheep, does it turn into a vampire sheep? Or a were-thylacine-sheep, like a sheep in thylacine's clothing?

The photo of the chap in Tasmania carrying the dead thylacine feels somehow poignant to me. Such a beautiful creature seperated from us by so small an amount of time. A fascinating article!
 

lordmongrove

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They did apparently like highly eating vasculated organs.
 

oldrover

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The photo of the chap in Tasmania carrying the dead thylacine feels somehow poignant to me. Such a beautiful creature seperated from us by so small an amount of time.

I'm sure this is why people have such a hard time accepting it's extinct, and I certainly can't blame them.
 

AlchoPwn

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I heard tell that a breeding population of thylacines had been transplanted to Wilson's Promontory in Victoria years before they died out in Tasmania. Apparently there have been plenty of sightings there. Sources? Hah! Don't talk to me about sources. Total FoaF kitchen table chatting.
 

oldrover

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I heard tell that a breeding population of thylacines had been transplanted to Wilson's Promontory in Victoria years before they died out in Tasmania. Apparently there have been plenty of sightings there. Sources? Hah! Don't talk to me about sources. Total FoaF kitchen table chatting.

Yes, it's a well known story, actually stories, because there are different versions of it. But, like most thylacine stories, it's a fib.
 
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