Topics: Australia, Thylacine, Marsupial Pages: 5 (1505 words) Published: January 14, 2013

Michael Myers


December 7,2011
Brian L.


Thylacines or, as they are more commonly know Tasmanian Tigers have been considered extinct in the Australian mainland for quite some time. However there is evidence suggesting that thylacines never really became extinct but have actually adapted to the challenges faced by them. To begin with, the habitat of the thylacine shows little evidence that it has changed drastically through the course of time. Next, the thylacine diet is still widely available, showing that food sources are still available. Lastly, the reports of sightings both questionable and probable are adding up, some are hoaxes and some are misidentification but some defy these explanations.

Beginning with a condescend history of the thylacine in the world. Thylacines first appeared over 4 million years ago, they populated Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania. Theories surrounding the eventual extinction belief include the introduction of dingoes, human encroachment including the hunting and poisoning of the animals until the last known thylacine died in captivity in 1936 at the Hobart zoo as stated by the Australian Rare Fauna Research Association (2010). Since shortly after the death of the last known thylacine in 1936 over 3,000 sightings have been reported throughout the thylacines historic range. Thylacines habitat has shown little or no change in over a thousand years. First, Thylacines were nocturnal hunters who rested by day in the timbers and scrubs and hunted on the boarders of thickets starting in the late afternoon and continuing into the night as stated by Le Souef in 1926 and Lord in 1927 collected from Natural Worlds (1996-2006). Secondly, According to The Heberle (1998) website formerly of the Department of Conservation and Land Management of Western Australia, Thylacines were most common in grassy plains, scrub and open forest. They were uncommon in dense forest. Finally, according to Encyclopedia of the nations, the whole of Australia has been relatively unchanged since the end of the ice age with the exception of cities and roads. As of such the habitat for thylacines is very much still intact with all the forests, thickets and grasslands.

The thylacines diet is made up primarily of meat, such as wallabies and small kangaroos. Initially, according to the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (ADSEPC) (2000) comes a listing of the thylacines known diet and adaptations for survival dealing with the digestive tract. Thylacines were carnivorous eating Bennett’s Wallaby, the Long-nosed Potoroo, the Tasmanian Pademelon, the Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Wombats, a variety of bandicoots, bats and birds a favorite appears to have been the Emu. Subsequently, carrion (dead animal carcasses) was believed to be eaten when live prey was not available. This is a disputed theory. Next, the thylacines stomach was muscular with the ability to distend. This allowed thylacines to eat large amounts of food at one time. This adaptation is believed to compensate for long periods when hunting was unsuccessful or food was scarce. Finally, for the current availability of the thylacines diet information was collected from Koalas, Kangaroos and More, Kowalski (2005).”Currently are roughly 50 kinds of kangaroos {including wallabies, wombats, bandicoots, possums} and more than 700 species of birds” giving an ample supply of food for a large predator p20.

There is much controversy as to if thylacines still exist in Australia. First, the questionable sightings are sightings or reports of sightings that the reporting parting stands to gain from. Things that lead some or most of these sightings to be questionable are that there is a standing reward for a living specimen being offered by several groups as well as the Australian government. Also since the very last known specimen died in 1936 as stated by the Department of...
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