loss The remains of the last Tasmanian tiger, Australia’s only predatory marsupial that went extinct in 1936, have been found in a museum cabinet85 years after he was declared missing, institutional sources in the oceanic country reported this on Monday.
The last specimen of the thylacine or Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) known to have died in captivity on September 7, 1936. His remains were delivered to the zoo in the Australian city of Hobart and, later, to the Museum and Art Gallery of Tasmania (TMAG, abbreviation in English).
This specimen, an elderly female, was captured by a hunter in the Florentine Valley on the island of Tasmania in South Australia and sold in May 1936 to Hobart Zoo, the capital of the territory.
“Over the years, many curators and museum researchers searched for his remains without success.Since no 1936 thylacine material was recorded in zoological collections, it was assumed that their bodies had been discarded,” said researcher Robert Paddle in a statement to TMAG.
Paddle and Catherine Medlock, who will publish their discovery this week in the Journal of Australian Zoologist, found that the remains of a Tasmanian tiger had arrived at TMAG in 1936 – although their arrival had not been properly recorded by the museum’s taxidermists – thanks to The main document that allows tracking the remains of the animal.
The researchers also discovered that the remains (skin and skeleton) of this extinct specimen were used for traveling exhibits and were therefore kept in a vault in the educational section of the museum.
“The skin was carefully tanned as a flat hide by William Cunningham, the taxidermist of the museum.It can be easily transported and used as a display specimen for school classes on Tasmanian marsupials,” said Medlock, a curator in TMAG’s Department of Vertebrate Zoology.
The thylacine, a marsupial with stripes on its back reminiscent of a tiger, once lived on mainland Australia and the island of New Guinea, although it disappeared from those places about 3,000 years ago due to climate change.
The island of Tasmania was the only place where the species survived, but its extinction accelerated with the arrival of Europeans in Oceania in the 18th century.who launched an intensive hunting campaign between 1830 and 1909, encouraged by bounties to eliminate this predator that ate cattle.
Although Tasmanian tigers went extinct 85 years ago, when the last tiger at Hobart Zoo died, the species was only officially declared extinct in the 1980s.