The last thylacine

26 abril 2007

The last Thylacine was filmed in 1933 in the Hobart Zoo where it lived for three years. The Thylacine died on 7 September 1936 as the result of neglect — locked out of its sheltered sleeping quarters and exposed to freezing temperatures at night. The last known motion picture footage taken of a living thylacine, 62 seconds of black-and-white footage of the animal pacing backwards and forwards in its enclosure, was taken in 1933.

Commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger, the Thylacine was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. Despite it showed many similarities to wolves or tigers, it is unrelated to any of the Northern Hemisphere predators. The thylacine had also an amazing ability to open its jaw remarkably wide; it was able to open its jaws to an unusual extent (up to 120 degrees), wider than any other mammal.

The Thylacine held the status of "endangered species" until 1986. International standards state that any animal for which no specimens have been recorded for 50 years is to be declared extinct. Since then, no definitive proof of the Thylacine's existence had been found. However, many people believe that the animal still exists. Sightings are regularly claimed in Tasmania and other parts of Australia. In January 1973 a strange animal was filmed while running in South Australia. Many claimed that it was a thylacinus again.

More info and sources: 1, 2, 3