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Remembering "Benjamin" - Sept. 7 1936
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    Welcome to The Thylacine Museum, an online scientific and educational resource promoting a greater awareness and understanding of the thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger.  Here you will find nearly 400 pages of detailed information covering virtually every aspect of the natural history of this unique Australian marsupial.

    The thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) is the only species of the marsupial family Thylacinidae to exist into modern times.  It is commonly referred to as the Tasmanian tiger or Tasmanian wolf, but being a marsupial, it is neither a tiger or a wolf in any true sense.  It is, however, an excellent example of parallel evolution - a process which occurs as a result of adaptation to similar environments and ways of life.  The thylacine's body shape approximately resembles that of the placental wolf because it is a predator which occupies a similar ecological niche.  Apart from the notable differences in dentition, even the thylacine's skull superficially resembles that of a canid.  Through their separate courses of evolution, many of the marsupial mammals of Australia have arrived at remarkably similar physical forms to the placental mammals found elsewhere in the world.

    The last survivor of an ancient and once diverse family of carnivorous marsupials, the thylacine is a truly amazing and beautiful mammal.  Sadly, out of ignorance, irrational fear, and largely just because it was perceived as an economic threat, a concerted war of extermination was waged against the species.  This resulted in one of man's most focused acts of destruction towards the fauna of Australia, leading to the deaths of thousands of thylacines during the 19th and early 20th centuries.  By the time this persecution was seen as the tragedy that it was, the thylacine had been brought to the brink of extinction.  Today, the thylacine is listed as extinct by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  However, there is sufficient evidence in the form of sightings reports, many from highly respected sources, to suggest that the extinction event may not yet have taken place.  Therefore, throughout the museum, the species is viewed as extant, albeit critically endangered.

    The Thylacine Museum is a scientifically referenced virtual museum, and with the release of this significantly expanded fifth edition, is now in its 18th year online.  Many prominent scientists and researchers have contributed to the development of the website, and it is now widely acknowledged as the definitive reference source for the species.

    I am most grateful to my colleague Dr. Stephen Sleightholme, Director of the International Thylacine Specimen Database and author of several scientific papers on the thylacine, for his assistance with the latest update - his help has been invaluable in making the museum what it is today.  I would like to thank Professor Mike Archer, Rosemary (Fleay) Thompson, and Dr. Robert Paddle for their numerous inputs into various sections of the museum, and also the late Professor Heinz Moeller, whose historical archives were central in the expansion of the museum's content.  I would like to express posthumous thanks to the late Dr. Eric Guiler, Australia's leading authority on the thylacine, who along with Moeller, laid the foundations upon which all modern-day research into the species is based.  I am indebted to Col Bailey, author of several books on the thylacine, for his invaluable help with historical research into the bushmen that hunted and trapped the thylacine.  Finally, I would like to express my thanks to all of the museum curators and photographers who contributed to this website, and to the museums themselves for kindly granting permission for the use of their materials.

    The museum will now take you on a journey through time to learn more about this extraordinary and elusive marsupial carnivore.

Cameron R. Campbell
Founder and Curator

Foreword by Col Bailey

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go to: Introducing the Thylacine
Section Introduction
What is a Thylacine?
Scientific Discovery and Taxonomy
Early Recollections
go to: Biology
Section Introduction
Anatomy
Reproduction and Development
Behaviour
The Specimens
go to: Palaeontology
Section Introduction
Australia and the Marsupials
Fossil Thylacines
Prehistoric Range of the Thylacine
go to: History
Section Introduction
Persecution
The Tasmanian Bushmen
Expeditions and Searches
Extinction vs. Survival
Alleged Mainland Thylacine Sightings
Magnificent Survivor
The Collectors
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go to: The Thylacine in Captivity
Section Introduction
Zoos, Circuses and Menageries
Benjamin - The Last Known Captive Thylacine
The Historical Thylacine Films
The Haes Photograph
Burrell's Thylacine Photographs
James Harrison - Tasmanian Animal Dealer
go to: The Thylacine in Art
Section Introduction
Aboriginal Rock Art
Natural History Illustration
Postage Stamps
Trading Cards
go to: Modern Research Projects
Section Introduction
The International Thylacine Specimen Database
The Thylacine Genome Project
The Thylacine Cloning Project
Acknowledgments
In Memoriam
About the Thylacine Museum
Thylacine Quiz
References
Referencing Thylacine Museum Content
Conditions of Use
Link Graphics
Site Map
Contact
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Thank you for visiting the Thylacine Museum and please come again.
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The Thylacine Museum is a subscription-free educational resource.  The museum does not advertise, and therefore donations are an important part of income generation for the site.  If you would like to support the continuing work of the museum, you can do so by making a donation via PayPal.  Making a donation is fast and simple, even if you do not have a PayPal account - just click on the button at right.
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Please also visit my other marsupial website, Thylacoleo Revealed - A Natural History of the Marsupial Lion.
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sign guest book view guest book e-mail map of the Natural Worlds website
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visit Magnificent Survivor - Continued Existence of the Tasmanian Tiger PARTNER WEBSITE
New information about the existence of the thylacine in the wild has recently been released in a ground-breaking book, available free on the Internet; 
Magnificent Survivor - Continued Existence of the Tasmanian Tiger.
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NATURALWORLDS.ORG WEBSITES:
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the Natural Worlds introduction page
a natural history of the Tasmanian tiger
the Marsupial 'lion' of Pleistocene Australia
a new species of armored dinosaur
rhinoceros beetles and other members of the scarab family
among the world's largest, heaviest insects
the world of wolves, foxes and other canids
Home The Thylacine Museum Thylacoleo Revealed Pawpawsaurus Family Scarabaeidae Goliathus World of the Wolf
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Website copyright © 1999-2017 C. Campbell's NATURAL WORLDS.
Photographs and other illustrations (where indicated) are © C. Campbell's NATURAL WORLDS.
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