Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Odd beast out

The above is footage of the last thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian wolf or Tasmanian tiger. Imperfect comparisons, perhaps, but the Australian animal did have a very canine profile and somewhat tigerish markings. It was a marsupial, of course, which means that the resemblances were an example of convergent evolution in action.

Thylacines went extinct in the 1930s. Could they have been saved? Maybe/probably. What would it have taken and when would preservation efforts have to start. That's up for debate.

By 1933, synchronous sound was common in movies. Because of the size and expense of the cameras, they weren't practical for use in zoological field research like this. Otherwise we could have heard it too. As it is, it's eerie to see the last of something pacing around in broad daylight.


susan said...

The poor thing must have been very lonely there in its solitary cage with strange creatures staring in. Who knows for sure that he was the last? Tasmania is a very big and very jungle filled island. Let's hope there are some who know to keep away from people.

Ben said...

Yes, I imagine that this creature had known on some level that something was wrong, but being caged and stared at must have really brought it home. I'd like to think there's something still wild and unknown in those old stomping grounds. The world needs unpredictable things.