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Thylacine

Mr. Morgan, 3rd Period
by

Kayla Blair

on 3 May 2012

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Transcript of Thylacine

The Thylacine What is a thylacine? The thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) is a carnivorous marsupial that is now believed to be extinct. It is also known as the Tasmanian tiger or Tasmanian wolf. The thylacine has been considered extinct for nearly sixty-five years. The species was protected by law in 1936, but by that time, there were hardly any wild thylacines left alive. The last known captive thylacine died at the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania on September 7 of the same year. However... There have been many reported sightings of thylacines all throughout Tasmania and in the mainland of Australia. Because of this, the Tasmanian tiger is also considered a cryptid. A cryptid is a creature or plant whose existence is questionable. Appearance of the Thylacine There are hundreds of cryptids who have yet to be proven by science. Some familiar cryptids to us include... Bigfoot Nessie Chupacabra Jersey Devil There are thylacine fossils that date back 5,000 years. It is widely believed that their disappearance is directly linked to humans and their domestic canine companions, as well as dingos who competed for food. Thylacines range in color from sandy-yellowish brown to gray. There are 15-20 distinct dark stripes that begin from shoulders and continue to the base of the tail, which is somewhat darker in color than the body. Both male and female thylacines have a back-opening pouch. There are up to four in a litter and the young are dependent on the mother until at least half-grown. The large head of thylacines are wolf-like, the tail is short and stiff and the legs are relatively short. Body hair is dense, short and soft. It reaches up to 15mm in length. It has short ears (about 80 mm long) that are erect, rounded and covered with short fur. Jaws are large and powerful, filled with 46 teeth. Adult male thylacines are larger on average than females, as seen here... Male Female Early History Thylacines were recorded by Aboriginal people on walls of caves. It is believed that they were used as a food source. The Europeans who came later were not so innocent. The 19th Century When European settlers arrived in Tasmania in 1802, they tore through the habitat of the thylacines in order to build homes and raise foreign livestock such as sheep and chickens. With that said, the natural food sources of the animal were cut short. Kangaroos were not as easy to find, rodents were being killed off as pests, and birds were claimed by humans. The thylacines resorted to feeding on the livestock that now was in abundance... ...and the farmers were not happy. Thylacines became the target of bounty hunters throughout the area. Despite ridding themselves of new "pests", hunters also enjoyed the unusual pelts of the creatures. As a result, the population began to plummet. This is the oldest Thylacine photo that still exists to this day. It is entitled "Mr. Weaver Bags a Tiger", and was taken in 1869. The only older one known of was taken in 1864, but no longer exists. The 20th Century By the 1900s, the thylacine population had became endangered. Nonetheless, hunting continued and the numbers continued to fall. The popularity of the creatures caused many to be captured and placed in zoos throughout the world. New York, London, and many other locations had thylacines on display. Little did the public know, these animals were the last of a dying race. "Benjamin" There were a number of thylacines in the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania, including the last known specimen to be seen and have it's death recorded. This thylacine is known as Benjamin. It is not proven whether Benjamin was male or female, but the name has stuck, and is what people refer to when they think of thylacines. Reported Sightings After the thylacine was considered extinct, there have been thousands of sightings in Australia and Tasmania. The most famous sighting of a thylacine was recorded on video in 1973. Many believe it is actual evidence, but nothing has been proven so far. Even so, the suspect and actual thylacines resemble each other in the build, movements, and color. What do you believe? Sources http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/ http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/introducing/what_is_thylacine_1.htm http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/naturalhistory/alleged_mainland_sightings_1.htm http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/additional/benjamin/Benjamin_1.htm http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/expeditions/treasure_fossil/Treasures/Tasmanian_Wolf/tasmania.html?50 http://www.australianmuseum.net.au/The-Thylacine http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/naturalhistory/history/history_1805_1936_1.htm By Kayla Blair This video was captured in 1933, three years before Benjamin's death. Rear-facing pouch. Looks familiar, doesn't it? Look at the similarities... Stripes begin at the shoulder and end at the tail.
The body is short and stocky, covered in short, sandy-colored fur.
The tail is long and stiff. "Benjamin" Taxidermied thylacines on display in a museum. The thylacine is an unusual cryptid in that it was once a true living creature. However, because it was never truly proven that the species is extinct and there have been numerous sightings of supposed thylacines, the marsupial is considered a cryptid. The greatest concentration of thylacine reports are in the northeast of Tasmania. On the mainland, favored areas include the Darling Range, the areas between Murray Bridge to Mount Gambier, and southeastern Victortia. There were 500 sightings on the the mainland prior to 1994. One particularly interesting situation is the many sightings around Wonthaggi, as well as a story in which a thylacine-like creature reportedly killed several sheep starting around 1955. In January 1958, tracks of a thylacine were found in mud between Point Davey and Muydena. Tasmanian Coat of Arms, featuring two thylacines. These maps show reported thylacine sightings (blue dots) in Australia and Tasmania.
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