the last tasmanian

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Back From The Dead? Reported Sightings Fuel Hope For Return Of Tasmanian Tigers

It has been more than eight decades since the last known Tasmanian tiger died. In that time, the marsupial has become the stuff of textbook sketches and yellowing photographs, little more than a memory aging into oblivion.

But Thylacinus cynocephalus may still be out there.

 Recent “plausible sightings” have challenged the accepted wisdom that the animal has gone extinct — and have inspired researchers at Australia’s James Cook University to commence a quest to find it themselves.

Let’s clarify one thing right away: this animal is no feline. In fact, it’s a marsupial — in the same family as kangaroos — but its face looks a lot like a dog.

“It’s a dog with a pouch,” the university’s Sandra Abell tells All Things Considered. She’s one of the people leading the search in Queensland, Australia.

The Tasmanian tiger, in this photograph taken while the species was still around. terr-bo/Flickr

A Tasmanian tiger in captivity, circa 1930. It is believed that the last wild thylacine was shot in 1930 and the last captive one died in 1936.  Topical Press Agency/Getty Images            

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8. ‘Benjamin,’ the last known surviving Tasmanian Tiger. He was placed in the Beaumaris Zoo in 1933, died in 1936, and the thylacine species was declared extinct in 1982. (They’re also known as the Tasmanian Wolf.)

7. Sand tiger shark embryos eat each other in the womb as a paternity strategy. DNA testing revealed that the mystery of baby shark cannibalism is due to embryos from different fathers competing to be born. If there are two embryos with the same father, they will eat all the others so they can both live, which strengthens their bloodline.

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The Last Tasmanian

Tasmanian, any member of the extinct Australoid population of Tasmania. The Tasmanians were an isolate population of Aboriginal Australians, not a separate or distinctive population, who were cut off from the mainland when a general rise in the sea level flooded the Bass Strait about 10,000 years ago. Their population upon the arrival of European explorers in the 17th and 18th centuries has been estimated at about 4,000. They were a relatively short people, with generally Australoid physical characteristics. The Tasmanians spoke languages that were unintelligible to mainland Aborigines.

The island was divided among several tribes speaking different dialects, each with a delimited hunting territory. Subsistence was based on hunting land and sea mammals and collecting shellfish and vegetable food. In warm months the Tasmanians moved through the open forest and moorlands of the interior in bands or family groups of 15 to 50 people; in colder months they moved to the coast. Occasionally, bands gathered together for a corroboree (a dance celebrating important events), a hunt, or for protection against attack.

Wooden spears, waddies (clubs, or throwing sticks), and flaked-stone tools and weapons were produced. Bone implements, basketry, and bark canoes for coastal travel were also made. A few rock carvings depicting natural objects and conventionalized symbols have survived.

The first permanent white settlement was made in Tasmania in 1803; in 1804 an unprovoked attack by whites on a group of Tasmanians was the first episode in the Black War. The whites treated the Aborigines as subhumans, seizing their hunting grounds, depleting their food supply, attacking the women, and killing the men. Tasmanian attempts to resist were met with the superior weaponry and force of the Europeans. Between 1831 and 1835, in a final effort at conciliation and to prevent the extermination of the approximately 200 remaining Tasmanians, the Aborigines were removed to Flinders Island. Their social organization and traditional way of life destroyed, subjected to alien disease and attempts to “civilize” them, they soon died. Truganini (d. 1876), a Tasmanian woman who aided the resettlement on Flinders Island, was the last full-blooded Aborigine in Tasmania. Another Tasmanian woman is said to have survived on Kangaroo Island in South Australia until 1888.

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The Hunter

Watched this movie out of random when I was looking through Netflix and didn’t expect much, but it was actually pretty good. Dafoe plays the role of a professional hunter hired to find the last Tasmanian Tiger. According to imfdb, the rifle is a Keppeler KS-V Bullpup. Very obscure rifle made in Germany and as far as I know, they aren’t imported into the U.S. (GRH)

‘Benjamin’ - The last known Thylacine, (Tasmanian Tiger, Tasmanian Wolf) pictured at the Beaumaris Zoo, Hobart, Tasmania. He died on 7 September 1936 - two months after the Tasmanian government was finally persuaded to provide legal protection for the species.

An endling is the term for the last member of a species or subspecies. When an endling dies, it’s species become extinct. There have been several endlings in recent times - Martha, who was the last passenger pigeon, died in 1914 in Cincinnati Zoo. The photo above shows Benjamin, the last Tasmanian Tiger, who lived out the last of his days in Hobart Zoo before he died on 7 September, 1936. Humans can often be an occurring theme in the story of endlings and this was the case for Benjamin, who died of neglect. Probably the most well known endling is Lonesome George, the Pinta Island giant tortoise, who died in 2012.

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79 years ago, on September 7, 1936, the world’s last Tasmanian Tiger passed away in captivity.
Though the animal is officially extinct, there have been over 600 sightings since 1936.

It’s a sombre day

Today, September 7, marks the 80th anniversary of the death of the last known thylacine (aka Tasmanian wolf/tiger). After keepers forgot to let it in for the night the animal, commonly known as “Benjamin”, froze to death in the outside portion of its enclosure.

Captured in the Florentine Valley of Tasmania in 1933 by Elias Churchill, the animal was sent to the Hobart Zoo where it lived out the last 3 years of its life, many years later becoming one of the main poster children of extinction.

Rest easy Benjamin (??? - Sept 7 1936).

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“Endling” might just be the loneliest term in the English language. An endling is the last member of a species or subspecies, and when this lone individual dies its species is extinct. Several endlings have been recorded in recent times. Martha, the last passenger pigeon, died in 1914 in Cincinnatti Zoo. She was the last of a species that had numbered several billion before Europeans arrived in North America. Human actions are a oft-repeated theme in the story of endlings. The animal in the photo is Benjamin, the last thylacine (or Tasmanian Tiger). Benjamin - who may have actually been female - lived out his days in Hobart Zoo. On the 7th of September, 1936, Benjamin died due to neglect. Other species endlings have included the last quagga and the Caspian tiger, though there are certainly more we don’t know of.  Perhaps the most well-known recent endling is the Pinta Island giant tortoise Lonesome George, who died on 24th June last year. George’s status as an endling may be rescinded in time; DNA from 17 hybrid tortoises indicates that they have some genetic material from George’s subspecies. Given tortoises’ long lifespans, the researchers have hope that the hybrids’ parents may still be alive somewhere on the Galápagos islands. Unless these purebred specimens are found (if they are still alive), Lonesome George holds a special place as our most famous and recent endling.

themyskira  asked:

Hey, just so you know, it's considered problematic to refer to Indigenous Australians as "full-blooded" (or "half-blooded", "half-caste", etc.) because such terms were historically used to define them by white authorities intent on eliminating them through forced assimilation, stealing of children from their families and "breeding out the blackness". Truganini herself was referred to as “the last of the now extinct native Tasmanians” well into the latter half of the 20th century, discounting and

(themyskira continues):

[2] erasing the Aboriginality of Tasmania’s contemporary Aboriginal community. Labelling Truganini the “last full-blooded Tasmanian person”, as many writers continue to do today, feeds into this erasure and harkens back to a time when Aboriginality was regarded as something that could be diluted by white blood and ultimately “bred out”.

Quite right! This is why I continually put “last” in quotation marks, because it’s a) stupid, and b) inaccurate. It’s why I left any mention of that to the end of the story, and why I talked about the resurgence of the Palawa people directly after said mention. I see the erroneous label as an important part of her story, because by referring to her as that, it helped build awareness among the colonists of how monstrous they were being.

That said, it deserves wider explanation in the entry, so I’m adding a footnote about that directly after I publish this. Thanks for the note!