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Thylacines and thylacoleos - pre 1936 and genetic ethics
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Quake42Offline
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PostPosted: 09-01-2006 16:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Extreamly odd that a thylacine should be seen on the mainland, they were extinct there before Europeans arrived if I recall correctly.


But as I understand it there have been a lot of reports of mainland sightings.
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KondoruOffline
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PostPosted: 09-01-2006 18:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Col Bailey saw his on the mainland.
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DougalLongfootOffline
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PostPosted: 09-01-2006 22:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

A remarkably well preserved Thylacine was found in a cave near Eucla in WA in the (IIRC) 1960s. Skin and flesh still largely intact, but dried out. 25 years later a dead dingo was found in the same cave that wasn't there before. It was in much worse condition than the Thylacine had been. In fact it was drier than a dead dingo's ...

Also some disputed carbon dating of a Thylacine bone found in the Kimberlys put the bone at only around 70 years old.

Don't have the book with me, Out of the Shadows by Tony Healy and Paul Cropper I think.
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Anome_Offline
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PostPosted: 10-01-2006 10:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

The theory is that the mainland Thylacine was wiped out by competition with Dingoes that were introduced by the second wave of human migration. The second wave didn't get to Tasmania, as the land bridge was gone by then, and so the dingoes didn't get to wipe out the Thylacines.

Of course, since everyone has been looking for survivors in Tasmania, there is a theory that there is a lot more room for mainland survivors to have hidden for the 10 000 years since their apparent extinction. (There may also be the question of people catching them in Tasmania pre-extinction and releasing them on the mainland but I haven't heard of that happening.)
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natarajaOffline
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PostPosted: 10-01-2006 22:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Independent article on some Americans' hunt for a living Thylacine (rather inaccurately referred to throughout as "tiger", but notable because it claims there are "multiple sightings every year"):

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article336946.ece
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oll_lewisOffline
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PostPosted: 11-01-2006 01:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

nataraja wrote:
Independent article on some Americans' hunt for a living Thylacine (rather inaccurately referred to throughout as "tiger", but notable because it claims there are "multiple sightings every year"):

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article336946.ece


I'm reviewing that book for this very website as we speak, the book is actually rather good Smile

It is quite correct to refer to the Thylacine as a tiger even though it is not even remotely related in any way shape or form to felines because so long as it is not taken out of context as the local name for the Thylacine is the Tasmanian Tiger. Thylacine is the first part of the biological name and often used to avoid confusion with tiger cat species.
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Human_84Offline
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PostPosted: 11-01-2006 15:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

What makes the thylacine so interesting to people? Truthfully I think it would be very very cool if someone found a live thylacine and proved it to the world, but in 6 months nobody would care about it anymore. Aren't there more interesting creatures in cryptozoology to hunt for? Maybe people like the thylacines because we are seemingly so close to finding one?
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Anome_Offline
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PostPosted: 12-01-2006 08:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dispute that. It won't be forgotten that quickly round here.

The Thylacine was a very important part of the Tasmanian eco-system. (And on the mainland when it was there.) It was top predator, in the same way lions, tigers, wolves, etc are in other parts of the world. The dingo took its place on the mainland, but there isn't really anything in Tasmania where the extinction was largely driven by farming rather than direct competition.
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Mighty_EmperorOffline
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PostPosted: 16-01-2006 17:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Review:

Carnivorous Nights: On The Trail Of The Tasmanian Tiger
www.forteantimes.com/review/carnivorous.shtml

The Garudian have also reviewed the book (I think they liked it but it doesn't really say so):
http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1685059,00.html
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 28-06-2007 13:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070626214417.htm


Source: University of Adelaide
Date: June 27, 2007

Tasmanian Tiger Extinction Mystery

Science Daily — A University of Adelaide project led by zoologist Dr Jeremy Austin is investigating whether the world-fabled Tasmanian Tiger may have survived beyond its reported extinction in the late 1930s.


Dr. Jeremy Austin with a mounted specimen from the SA Museum. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Adelaide) Dr Austin from the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA is extracting ancient DNA from animal droppings found in Tasmania in the late 1950s and ‘60s, which have been preserved in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

“The scats (droppings) were found by Eric Guiler, Australia’s last real thylacine expert, who said he thought it more probable they came from the Tasmanian Tiger rather than a dog, Tasmanian Devil or quoll,” Dr Austin said.

The Tasmanian Tiger, or thylacine, was widespread in Tasmania when European settlers arrived in 1803. Resembling a large, long dog with stripes, a heavy stiff tail and big head, the thylacine was the world’s largest marsupial carnivore at the time of its extinction in 1936 when the last one in captivity died in Hobart Zoo.

“If we find thylacine DNA from the 1950s scats it will be significant,” Dr Austin said. “The last Tasmanian Tiger killed in the wild was in 1918, so there’s a 20-year gap between a wild sighting and one in captivity. It’s a long shot that they were still around in the 1950s, but we can’t rule it out at this stage.”

Dr Austin is also extracting DNA from bones of both the Tasmanian Tiger and Tasmanian Devil found on mainland Australia. Scientists believe the Tiger lived on the mainland 2000 years ago and the Devil 500 years ago.

“The DNA may be able to reveal they were different species to the Tasmanian animals, although it’s unlikely. It’s only been 10,000 years since Bass Strait flooded and Tasmania was separated from the mainland. That’s not a long period of time in evolutionary terms.

“The main reason people think they may have been different species is that the Tasmanian Tiger was much bigger than its mainland cousins. That’s not surprising given the climate because the colder the environment, the larger the animal.”

Dr Austin is working in collaboration with Oliver Berry from the University of Western Australia, another zoologist who is extracting ancient DNA from scats in Tasmania to find evidence of foxes.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University of Adelaide.

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DougalLongfootOffline
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PostPosted: 20-05-2008 00:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Tasmanian tiger DNA comes alive in mouse
Posted 38 minutes ago

A University of Melbourne team has extracted genes from a tasmanian tiger and put them into a mouse, reviving hopes that the extinct thylacine may one day be successfully cloned.

The DNA from the thylacine reproduced in the mouse's body, showing biological function.

Dr Andrew Pask of the University of Melbourne's Zoology Department says it is the first time DNA from an extinct species has been used "to induce a functional response in another living organism."

The findings will be published in an international scientific journal tomorrow.

They show that one of the thylacine genes is similar to the mouse gene that develops cartilage and bone.

Professor Marilyn Renfree, who was also involved in the research, said the discovery was critical.

"For those species that have already become extinct, our method shows that access to their genetic biodiversity may not be completely lost," she said.

However she said cloning a tasmanian tiger was still a long way off.

Dean of Science at the University of New South Wales, Mike Archer, led a project to revive the extinct animals through recovered DNA.

Professor Archer has told ABC Local Radio he believes that aim may now be within reach.

"The next question then is, well what if you did that with the whole of the DNA of the thylacine?" he said.

"Could you in fact bring back a thylacine? Technically I think this is pretty difficult at the moment but on the other hand this is one very significant step in that direction and I'm delighted."

The last tasmanian tiger died in the Hobart Zoo in 1936.



http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/20/2249778.htm
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spiritdoctorOffline
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PostPosted: 20-05-2008 00:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bet the mouse was thrilled with the results
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Zilch5Offline
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PostPosted: 20-05-2008 04:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

There has long been conjecture that the Tasmanian Government knows they are still around, but denies it so as not to attract maniac hunters after the ultimate trophy! Maybe 10 years ago a Tasmanian Ranger went public saying he had seen one - and then did a very public backflip and gave a press conference with some stern looking senior officials surrounding him, saying he was mistaken, it was only a dog... Well...

I believe they are still around, and heck, I WANT them to be around!

There have been some credible sightings, and one very blurry photo (which I can't find right now...) - a little more bit to add some mystery:

"The State Government's secret Tasmanian tiger files have been prised open, revealing a sighting considered as credible as one 20 years ago that sparked a massive search. Details of 17 claimed thylacine sightings reported to authorities since June 1997 has been released to a self-proclaimed big cat and thylacine hunter under the Freedom Of Information Act.

...

But one reported sighting in 1997 in the State's North-West was given more credibility than most by authorities. A written report by thylacine expert and Parks and Wildlife Service ranger Nick Mooney said the sighting was "as good if not better than" the famous sighting by wildlife officer Hans Naarding in 1982 that sparked a year-long search by the Government to prove that the thylacine had escaped extinction. The 1997 sighting centred on a night-time encounter by a man patrolling an area of land. The man, who had been travelling alone, reported seeing a thylacine just 3m from his car. He immediately thought to be a wild dog and prepared to shoot it, but realised that its appearance was markedly different from that of a dog, as was its gait - both which he described in detail, along with its striped markings.

Mr Mooney reported after interviewing the man: "Considering his job, (the man) is familiar with local wildlife. He seems alert, intelligent and on associated topics not prone to exaggeration. "I have little doubt that (the man) believes he saw a thylacine. If he did it, was an adult - i.e., probably resident and likely a male. At this time of year, I would expect an adult female to be suckling denned young and therefore to have a loose pouch area. "In all respects, this sighting is as good if not better than that of Hans Naarding's in 1982. The geographical area has produced most of Tasmania's best reports in the past decade.""


Also, there are the "tourist" sightings. A very blurry photo by German tourist Kalus Emmerich - he has since copyrighted the pics, so they aren't on the web anymore that I can see. And this account, which sounds somewhat credible to me:

http://www.cryptomundo.com/bigfoot-report/thylacine-photo/


Last edited by Zilch5 on 20-05-2008 05:31; edited 1 time in total
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Quake42Offline
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PostPosted: 01-10-2008 17:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

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(There may also be the question of people catching them in Tasmania pre-extinction and releasing them on the mainland but I haven't heard of that happening.)


There are reports that some were released in Wilson's Promontory pre-Tasmanian extinction. This might account for the large number of Victoria sightings.

An Aussie friend and occasional Board contributor has recently found a photo of a "strange animal" like a dog or wolf that her mother took in rural Victoria in the 70s. It's blurred (aren't they all) but as soon as she has located a scanner one of us will post it up here. It would be great if it was a thylacine.
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Zilch5Offline
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PostPosted: 01-10-2008 22:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, it would be great to see that photo! Smile
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