The Tasmanian tiger is no more, and it was never a tiger. The thylacine was the world’s last predatory marsupial, and there were 5,000 or so of them in Australia, mostly in Tasmania, when Europeans colonized that country. Blamed for livestock deaths, the settlers hunted them in the 19th century until they went extinct in the 1930s. We have film footage of a thylacine supposedly named Benjamin at the Beaumaris Zoo, who was thought to be the very last Tasmanian tiger. But now we find that there was another.
A female thylacine was sold to the Beaumaris Zoo in 1936. This thylacine was not documented at the time because the transaction was illegal. But she was there, and she outlived Benjamin. When she died, a taxidermist preserved her skin and bones for educational purposes. No one knows how long it’s been since those bones were seen, as they were stored at Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and only recently uncovered. The discovery is important, but the fate of the Tasmanian tiger is no less sad for knowing one specimen lived a little longer. Read about this new discovery at Smithsonian. -via Damn Interesting
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