The remains of the last known Tasmanian tiger have been discovered

The Tasmanian tiger, also known as the Tasmanian tiger, has been an enigma for decades. Is the animal really extinct? Or did some specimens survive in the wild to this day?

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Read more after the announcement

It is known so far that the last known specimen died in 1936 at the Hobart Zoo on the Australian island of Tasmania. The researchers consider it unlikely that the animals would have survived in the wild for so long after that. In 1982, the International Union for Conservation of Nature officially declared the marsupials extinct, and the Tasmanian government followed suit in 1986.

But now, thanks to careful “detective work”, two Australian researchers have been able to prove that the last known Tasmanian tiger was a female and not the male animal made famous by historical photos and recordings. This was apparently the penultimate known animal.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

Forgotten in the closet

Robert Padel, a researcher at the Australian Catholic University, and Museum Curator of Vertebrate Zoology, Katherine Medlock, tracked down the skeleton of the last known thylacine already in a cabinet at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG). According to Medlock, the remains fell into oblivion due to the failure to properly catalog the specimen. The latter led to the animal’s fur being displayed as part of a traveling exhibition across the country, without the museum staff ever really knowing what treasure they held in their hands.

Anyway, people at the time believed that there were other tigers in the wild, such as the Australian anchor Amin ABC He said. There is still speculation about supposed sightings of the specimen, but there is no real evidence of any specimens remaining.

Indexing is missing

The animal, whose remains have now been found by the two researchers, was captured in the Florentine Valley in southern Tasmania and sold to the Hobart Zoo in mid-May 1936. In press release She says the sale was not registered or published by the zoo because hunting the animals was illegal until then and the poacher could have been fined. “The thylacine only lived a few months,” Badel said. When the animal died, its body was taken to the museum. But despite not being cataloged, museum curators and researchers had searched for the remains for years without success, and eventually assumed that the body had been disposed of.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

The mystery was finally solved thanks to an unpublished report from one of the museum’s taxidermists in 1936/37, in which a male fattening was mentioned in the list of specimens handled during the year. Then all the thylacine skins and skeletons in the museum’s collection were examined and the specimen discovered. The remains have now been stored in special acid-free boxes and in the dark to prevent further deterioration. Medlock and Paddle plan to publish their findings in the Australian Journal of Zoology.

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Can Thylacine Reincarnate?

In August it was announced Researchers from the University of Melbourne, along with Colossal Biosciences in Texas, are trying to bring the animal back to life. The operation aims to take stem cells from a living marsupial with similar DNA – a narrow-footed marsupial mouse. The team then hopes to reconstruct the thylacine using stem cells and gene-editing technology. The new project is possible thanks to a multi-million dollar donation.

However, other researchers reacted to the Melbourne announcement, describing the “rebirth” of animals as “science fiction”. Jeremy Austin of the Australian Center for Ancient DNA said bringing extinct animals back to life is “a science fiction”.Sydney Morning Herald” At that time. In fact, science has so far failed to “bring back” the extinct animals. Similar attempts to revive the woolly mammoth, for example, have so far been unsuccessful. In the case of the Tasmanian tiger, experiments over the past 20 years have also been unsuccessful: it has The Australian Museum, for example, attempted animal cloning, but the project was halted in 2005.

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