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Thylacines and thylacoleos - pre 1936 and genetic ethics
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 03-02-2013 12:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Short but very interesting documentary about the archives of London Zoo, featuring the back story of the taking of the only known 19th Century photo of a thylacine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0EZmrJTIw0Q

Here's the photo again;

http://s1170.photobucket.com/albums/r536/revotisThartmannIII/?action=view&current=rarephoto.jpg

Poor little bugger.
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lordmongroveOffline
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PostPosted: 07-02-2013 00:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great little film. The lizard is a sail finned water dragon from tropical Asia. It is a large agamid related to the frilled lizard and the chinese water dragon. It is not closely related to the iguanas.
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 07-02-2013 21:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing that strikes me about this 1864 photo is that a succession of thylacines were photographed in that corner of the North Mammal House over a fifty or so year period, right next to what looks to be exactly the same water trough in exactly the same position.

Speaking of thylacines, according to The Thylacine Museum's discussion on habitat loss in Tasmania by type, we find that the type reputedly favoured by the thylacine, grassy woodland, has declined by 90%.

http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/history/extvssurv/extinction_vs_survival_5.htm

On a rare positive note from me though is on the previous page it notes that of the last five kills and one capture (1930-33) the two last kills and final capture were in the South West of the island.

http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/history/extvssurv/extinction_vs_survival_6.htm

All of these are now in National Park areas.
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hunckOffline
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PostPosted: 19-03-2013 15:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/shortcuts/2013/mar/18/scientists-clone-extinct-frog?INTCMP=SRCH

Article about cloning of extinct frog's genome from samples kept in a freezer since the 70s.

Quote:
None of the embryos created survived for more than a few days, but the "Lazarus Project" team believe their work is a landmark moment for the new science of "de-extinction" – the artificial recreation of lost species that featured fictionally in the Jurassic Park films. "Now we have fresh cryo-preserved cells of the extinct frog to use in future cloning experiments," says team leader Professor Mike Archer of the University of New South Wales, in Sydney. "We're increasingly confident that the hurdles ahead are technological and not biological, and that we will succeed.

Archer says his focus is now on cloning the extinct Australian thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger. However, at the conference talk was already moving on to targeting other extinct species, such as the woolly mammoth and dodo.
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 19-03-2013 21:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this hunck, I'd picked up that he was sniffing around the idea again.

I think this is worth a thread of it's own.
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hunckOffline
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PostPosted: 21-03-2013 16:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be pretty amazing for some of these creatures to walk the earth again.

Seems they implant tissue samples from the extinct animal into an egg from a related species. Elephants would presumably fit the bill for mammoth genetic material. Which animals are similarly related to thylacines? A marsupial of some sort?

It seems that far from being fearsome predators as the name Tasmanian tiger would suggest, thylacines according to Wiki were extinct or very close to it on mainland Australia 2000 years ago.
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 21-03-2013 18:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thylacines weren't very formidable, you wouldn't want a bite off one of course it'd probably be very nasty if they really meant it, but certainly they were no tigers. The last known thylacine bite to a human was 1933, on the arse of a man named David Fleay in Hobart Zoo whilst he was taking this film;

http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/captivity/films/flv/film_5.htm

And Fleay only got bitten because, as brilliant a naturalist and important figure in the conservation of many rare Australian species as he was, he failed to read the retracted testicles, the straight tail held horizontally to the body, the pacing and most obviously the the threat yawn, as thylacine for ' do please f.ck off, you're freaking me out'. Anyway it was just a nip.

The closest relatives they have are the quoll, highly endangered, and the Tasmanian devil, also staring into the abyss. It's these animals that this technology should be used to help, because despite my lifelong love of the thylacine I really believe that, as a legitimate species at least, it's dead and gone and there's nothing that can be done to raise it from the grave. I say that because even if we could resurrect its biology we'd only end up with a replica. The reason being we'd never know how to socialise it properly, and I'm fairly sure that the animal's almost entirely unknown behaviour was sufficiently complicated for this to be a fatal hurdle to ever again having true wild thylacines. It's much more important to preserve genuine populations of the last remaining marsupial carnivores that are left.

Don't bother with the Wiki article it's full of mistakes the only decent place on the internet for info is 'The Thylacine Museum'.

As for their exit from the mainland Robert Paddle argues in the meticulously researched acid trip that is his book 'The last Tasmanian Tiger; the history and extinction of the thylacine', that they survived in South Australia into the 1850's and that the state government instituted a bounty scheme. Personally I think it's highly unlikely and that there's a more mundane explanation for the evidence he cites. I'm happy with the usual 4,000 or so years ago for their extinction on the mainland.
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Zilch5Offline
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PostPosted: 26-06-2013 02:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

This probably fits in here best - the attempts of an Australian scientist to revive (amongst others) the thylacine:

Quote:
Resurrecting extinct species, including the Tasmanian tiger, seems the stuff of fantasy. But a dogged Australian scientist and his team believe they will do it.

Professor Mike Archer's small office at the University of New South Wales is stuffy - the windows and blinds are so old they no longer open - and chaotic, with bones, skulls and chunks of limestone everywhere, jostling for space with books and stacks of paper. The half-assembled skeleton of a huge cave bear rears up over the clutter. "It was too big for the room," Archer explains regretfully. It's very different from the light-filled eerie overlooking Sydney he enjoyed as the high-profile director of the Australian Museum in 2000, when he made headlines around the world with his ambitious plan to clone the extinct thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian tiger. Although a little greyer now at 68, the palaeontologist remains as bold and indefatigable as ever. "One foot over the precipice - that's the fun area for me," he says cheerfully.

Read the whole article: http://www.smh.com.au/national/waking-the-dead-20130617-2ocz4.html#ixzz2XHmUdw9p
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 10-05-2014 19:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing Earth shattering here, just news of what I think would be a nice thing to visit. I find it interesting that the exhibition's curator is willing to speculate about the species survival in the wild after 1936. I must admit I also think 1950 is as optimistic an estimate as you can reasonably make.


Quote:
Thylacine cameraman copped buttocks bite
THE cameraman who took the famous footage of the last captive Tasmanian tiger was bitten on the buttocks while filming.
Biologist David Fleay's pictures shot at a Hobart zoo in 1933 are known around the world as the haunting last images of an animal nearing extinction.
A tiger, or thylacine, known as Benjamin, is seen pacing uncomfortably inside a concrete pen three years before it was to become the last of its species to die in captivity.
But a new exhibition at Launceston's Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery has shed more light on the shoot.
The museum is displaying witness accounts, remembered by Fleay's daughter Rosemary, that recall him being bitten after two warning "yawns" from the tiger.
"The animal managed to get behind him and bite him on the buttocks," curator David Maynard told AAP.
"He had fair warning and he got what was coming to him."
Fleay, who was working under a curtain commonly used by photographers in the early 20th Century, suffered no serious injury.
"Other than his pride," Mr Maynard said.
"Most likely the tiger would have left puncture marks.
"They have quite large canine teeth."
The thylacine was a top-level predator but was generally shy towards people.
No deaths by tigers were ever recorded but the story of one attempting to drag away an 11-year-old boy survives.
Aboriginal folklore has stories of babies being taken by thylacines, Mr Maynard said.
"They were persecuted because of their supposed impact on sheep farming but that's totally overblown," he said.
"It's more likely it was wild dogs."
The museum still receives reports of sightings at least monthly but Mr Maynard said there is no credible evidence the animal survives.
They were slow-growing, producing few young, and the last wild tiger was killed in 1930.
"At best they lived in the wild until 1950," Mr Maynard said.
"The last one probably died in the wild alone and unknown.
"The road kill in Tasmania is exceptional - 293,000 animals a year - and not one of them in the last 50 years has been a thylacine."


http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/thylacine-cameraman-copped-buttocks-bite/story-e6frfku9-1226909234177
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