tasmania. hobart

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Dolerite boulder field- Kunanyi/Mt. Wellington, Hobart Tasmania


-Dolerite is a term for basaltic igneous rocks that have just started to grow crystals. It’s very common on Tasmania due to the island having rifted away from Australia - opening oceans tends to cause volcanic rocks to form, justlike at the mid-ocean ridges. These also break into columns and can fall apart after cooling. Note the foot for scale.

The Extinct Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger

The Thylacine was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times.  It is commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger (because of its striped lower back) or the Tasmanian wolf.  Native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, it is believed to have become extinct in the 20th century.  It was the last extant member of its family, Thylacinidae;  specimens of other members of the family have been found in the fossil record dating back to the late Oligocene.

The Thylacine had become extremely rare or extinct on the Australian mainland before British settlement of the continent, but it survived on the island of Tasmania along with several other endemic species, including the Tasmanian Devil.  Intensive hunting encouraged by bounties is generally blamed for its extinction, but other contributing factors may have been disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment into its habitat.  Despite its official classification as extinct, sightings are still reported, though none has been conclusively proven.

About the video:  Compilation of all five known Australian silent films featuring the recently extinct thylacines, shot in Hobart Zoo, Tasmania, Australia. Benjamin, the last specimen, is shown in the footage starting from 2:05.  The clips are separated by fades.

Video Source (public domain);  reference

September 7th, 1936

Exactly 80 years ago today, the worlds last captive Thylacine - affectionately known as Benjamin - died at the Hobart Zoo in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. The creatures life was ultimately cut short due to being locked out of its sheltered sleeping quarters and freezing to death in the harsh Tasmanian night. This date of September 7th, is officially thought to be the last time anyone was able to see one of these magnificent marsupials alive in the world.

That same year, the Thylacine would be added to the endangered species list. Fifty years later, the worlds largest carnivorous marsupial would officially be declared extinct due to the direct eradication of the species carried out by human beings.

To honor the memory of Benjamin, Australia celebrates National Threatened Species Day every year on September 7th. This tradition was started in 1996 and this year marks its 20th anniversary.

-The Pine Barrens Institute