All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
7 09, 2017

Threatened Species Day 2017

By | September 7th, 2017|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Threatened Species Day 2017

Remembering the Thylacine

Today, September 7th is “National Threatened Species Day” in Australia.  On this day, in 1936, the last known Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) died in Beaumaris Zoo, Tasmania.  Thus, the largest marsupial predator of recent times became extinct.  The Tasmanian Tiger, sometimes referred to as the Tasmanian Wolf or to be more correct, the Thylacine was once widespread throughout much of Australia and particularly numerous on Tasmania.  However, with the arrival of European settlers the demise of this predator was accelerated and within a few decades the population was in terminal decline.

The Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus)

A Thylacine.

A Thylacine in captivity (1935), a picture of the last Thylacine known to science.

Picture Credit: David Fleay

Australia’s Unique Flora and Fauna

National Threatened Species Day encourages Australians to reflect on the unique nature of the country’s flora and fauna and to consider how best to conserve it.  As the day is commemorated, it also highlights the amazing work that is being done by conservationists, researchers, volunteers and volunteers.  It has been estimated that Australia is home to more than half a million animal and plant species, a large number of which are unique to the continent.  Scientists estimate that over the last two hundred years, more than one hundred unique plant and animal species have become extinct and that includes the Thylacine.

Koala – Unique to Australia but Vulnerable to Extinction

A Koala (unique to Australia).

The Koala a symbol of Australia’s unique wildlife is also threatened.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Iconic animals, such as the Koala, sometimes called the Koala Bear (even though it is only very distantly related to bears, is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  Habitat destruction and the loss of Eucalyptus trees along with severe drought has significantly reduced this arboreal herbivores numbers.

Hope for the Thylacine?

There have been numerous claimed sightings of Thylacines.  Prompted by some plausible eye-witness accounts, researchers from James Cook University have set up camera traps in a remote part of northern Queensland in an attempt to capture footage of Thylacines.  Everything Dinosaur featured the plans to hunt for Thylacines in a blog article published in the spring: Hunting for Tasmanian Tigers.  Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, rained on the researcher’s parade somewhat when they calculated the probability of the Thylacine having survived at being about 1 in 1.6 trillion.

Extension Ideas

  • Have the class list animals and then look up their conservation status on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
  • Split the children into groups and have them research the story of various extinct animals – animals such as the Dodo, Thylacine, Moa, Passenger Pigeon, Great Auk.
  • With the collaboration of the “Forest School” organiser, what practical steps can the school take to set up their own wildlife conservation area.

 

7 09, 2017

National Thylacine Day

By | September 7th, 2017|Animal News Stories, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|1 Comment

National Thylacine Day

Today, marks the 81st anniversary of the death of the last known Thylacine.  The animal, nick-named Benjamin, died this day (7th September 1936), at Beaumaris Zoo (Hobart, Tasmania).  The Thylacine (sometimes referred to as the Tasmanian Tiger, probably due to its prominent stripes), was the largest carnivorous marsupial of the Holocene Epoch.  It was the last member of the once diverse and numerous Thylacinidae family, which once ranged over Australia and New Guinea.

Over the last few years, Everything Dinosaur has been able to add a couple of Thylacine models to its extensive range of prehistoric and extinct animal replicas.  In 2016, CollectA added a female Thylacine model to its hugely popular CollectA Prehistoric Life model range.  The model can be clearly identified as a female because of the very obvious pouch.  The CollectA Thylacine model measures a fraction under twelve centimetres in length and the model’s head is some five centimetres off the ground.

The CollectA Thylacine Model

The CollectA Thylacine replica.

The CollectA Thylacine model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The distended pouch suggests that this particular Thylacine is carrying young.  This impressive, hand-painted model has received excellent reviews.  For example, a recent 5-star FEEFO review stated that this CollectA model was:

“Very high-quality product.”

Thylacinus cynocephalus

Aboriginal rock art records Thylacines and numerous fossil sites are known from Western Australia.  The Tasmanian Tiger ranged extensively over Australia and Tasmania, a mummified carcass was discovered in the famous Nullarbor Cave in 1969 by a field team from the Western Australian Museum.

Mojo Fun also has a Thylacine replica in its model range (Mojo Fun Prehistoric and Extinct Animals), this replica is approximately the same size as the CollectA model and just like the CollectA replica, it is hand-painted.  Everything Dinosaur added this model range to its portfolio as part of plans to expand the company’s extensive model range.

The Mojo Fun Thylacine Model

The Mojo Fun Thylacine.

The Mojo Fun Thylacine model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Mojo Fun Thylacine has also received excellent reviews from collectors, such as this 5-star FEEFO rating – “Well-made model, exactly as presented on your web site.”

Quality Thylacine Models

Such is the quality of these two figures, that we have supplied numerous scientists, academics and museum staff with these models.

To view the range of prehistoric and extinct animal replicas available from Everything Dinosaur: The Models Available from Everything Dinosaur

September 7th is “National Threatened Species Day” in Australia.  This day is dedicated to acknowledging the efforts of those hard-working conservationists who strive to protect Australia’s flora and fauna.  It is also a day for remembering the Thylacine, our species Homo sapiens, was responsible for the extinction of this beautiful and little understood predator.

There have been several credible sightings in recent years, and prompted by some plausible eye-witness accounts, scientists from James Cook University have set up camera traps in a remote part of northern Queensland in a bid to capture irrefutable evidence that this enigmatic marsupial still exists.  Everything Dinosaur featured the plans to hunt for Thylacines in a blog article published in the spring: Hunting for Tasmanian Tigers.  The idea that a handful of “Tigers” might be still in the outback, is a very intriguing idea, however, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, put together a mathematical model to assess the probability of the Thylacine still existing.  Having assessed all the sightings and other evidence, the most optimistic view is that the Thylacine might have persisted to around 1950 but the chances of finding a Thylacine alive today are extremely remote.  How remote?  About 1 in 1.6 trillion according to the mathematicians.

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