(page 4)

Theodore Thomson Flynn (1883-1968):

    Theodore Thomson Flynn was an accomplished Australian zoologist recognised for his work on marsupial embryology and development.  Flynn was appointed lecturer in biology at the University of Tasmania in 1909 and became Professor of biology in 1911.  From 1912 to 1918, he also held the post of honorary curator of the Tasmanian Museum.  Flynn taught at the university until 1931, after which he left Tasmania to take the chair in Zoology at Queens University in Belfast (1931-1948).

    It is known that Flynn acquired a number of thylacine specimens for his research.  These specimens were obtained through intermediaries such as Mrs. Roberts of the Beaumaris Zoo, and James Harrison, the wild animal dealer, in Wynyard.
        On a visit to the Beaumaris Zoo on the 15th March 1914, Flynn borrowed, but failed to return, four thylacine skeletons lent by Mrs. Roberts from her private collection.  Paddle (2008, p. 461) states: "It was only when Flynn borrowed mounted specimens, skeletons and preserved skins from Roberts' personal collection, and refused to give them back; and agreed to buy dead zoo specimens from her, but after collection refused to pay for them, that their professional relationship soured".  These specimens included the mother of the Woolnorth family group, the dead on arrival Bryant specimen, and the two Sidebottom pups.  With respect to the Bryant specimen, Paddle (2008, p. 460) notes that Roberts had previously donated its internal organs to Flynn in June 1911.  On the 9th September 1912, Flynn presented a paper to the Royal Society of Tasmania describing the internal organs of the thylacine.  This paper was no doubt written in part from his detailed examination of the organs of the Bryant specimen:
Theodore Thomson Flynn
Theodore Thomson Flynn (1883-1968).
Courtesy: Queen's University (Belfast).

    "Professor Flynn read a paper upon certain of the internal organs of the Thylacine, or native tiger.  In many respects they agreed with those of Sarcophilus, the native devil, which belonged to the same group of marsupials as the dasyuridae, and were characterised by the same simplicity".

    In an article entitled "The University - Ralston Trust Report" published in the Mercury newspaper on the 18th November 1926 (p. 3),  Flynn documents the transfer of brain specimens, including that of a thylacine, to University College in London:

    "I was informed by Professor G. Elliott Smith that a most important and valuable contribution to science, founded upon marsupial brain material forwarded by me, will shortly be published from the Department of Anatomy, University College.  The breadth of this work will be imagined when it is understood that it is founded on the study of the brains of the following animals, all sent from Tasmania: Tasmanian tiger (or wolf), Tasmanian devil, native cat, tiger cat, grey opossum, ringtail opossum, bandicoot, wombat, opossum mouse, flying squirrel, kangaroo rat, bush rat, porcupine, and platypus".

    It is possible that the thylacine brain specimen still exists in the Elliott Smith collection at UCL.

    There are 2 other specimens within the 5th revision of the ITSD (2013) that specify Flynn as the donor.  A thylacine taxidermy from Queen's University (Belfast) which is now in the Ulster Museum collection (specimen UMB LH928), and a cranium gifted to Henry Cushier Raven, an Associate Curator of Comparative and Human Anatomy, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (specimen AMNH 146829).

Flynn's specimen:
Taxidermy specimen UMB LH928.  Courtesy: Ulster Museum.
Source: International Thylacine Specimen Database (2013).

Herbert Hedley Scott (1866-1938):

    Herbert Hedley Scott, the first curator of the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston (curator from 1897 to 1938), occasionally placed advertisements in the local press for thylacine (native tiger) specimens:

    "WANTED FOR LAUNCESTON MUSEUM - Perfect specimens of the following animals; Native tiger, devil, kangaroo rats, native cats, porcupine, wallaby, kangaroo, platypus, marsupial rats and mice. H. H. SCOTT, Curator" - (Launceston Examiner, 3rd May 1899 [p. 1]).

    Not to be outdone by its northern rival, the Tasmanian Museum in Hobart also advertised for specimens of the "tiger" or "devil":

    "TASMANIAN MARSUPIALS - the Tasmanian Museum wants to Purchase Tasmanian Tigers, Devils, and other Native Animals.  For further particulars apply to Secretary, Museum, Hobart" - (The Mercury, 24th May 1913 [p. 2]).

   Few, if any, of these specimens would have been accompanied by source data.

Professor Henry Ward (1834-1906):
    Professor Henry Ward, the founder of Ward's Natural Science (Rochester, New York), collected natural history specimens from around the world to sell to museums, universities, and private collectors.  In the Mercury newspaper of the 12th June 1873 (p. 1), he placed an advertisement (one of a series of such advertisements) for Tasmanian specimens including the thylacine (Tasmanian wolf):

    "NATURALISTS & SPORTSMEN - The subscriber desires to procure SPECIMENS of NATURAL HISTORY for his Zoological and Geological Establishment.  All parties who have in their possession Skins, Skeletons, or Skulls of Animals of any class, or who are in a position to obtain these to sell at reasonable prices, are requested to address with very full particulars of kinds, size, price, &c.  Specimens of Tasmanian Wolf, Tasmanian Devil, or Tiger, Boomer Kangaroo, Wombat, Ornithorhynchus, Echidna, Turtles, &c. are particularly desired".

Henry Augustus Ward
Henry Augustus Ward.
Source: Rochester Public Library Local History Division.

    Ward's advertisements appear to have been productive, as he was subsequently able to supply the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, Milwaukee Public Museum and Princeton University in the United States with thylacine specimens (Source: ITSD, 5th revision, 2013).

Ward's specimens:
MCZ 6349, MPM (no catalogue number), PU 568.  Source: International Thylacine Specimen Database (2013).
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