Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1810):
Étienne Geoffroy Saint Hilaire (1772-1844) was an eminent French
embryologist, palaeontologist, and comparative anatomist. He was
Professor of Vertebrate Zoology at the Museum National d' Histoire Naturelle
in Paris from 1793 until his death in 1844. It was Hilaire (1810)
who assigned the thylacine to the genus Dasyurus.
Jacob Temminck (1824):
Coenraad Jacob Temminck
(1778-1858) was a Dutch ornithologist and zoologist. He was director
of the Leiden Museum of Natural History from 1820 until his death in 1858.
Temminck (1824) is credited
with separating the thylacine into its own genus "Thylacinus".
Temminck's paper published in "Monographies de Mammalogie" describes
the external characteristics of the thylacine, its dentition, and its habitat.
Temminck opens by discussing
dentition of the thylacine and then proceeds to discuss the surface
anatomy of the fore and hind feet. Temminck appears somewhat critical
of Harris's description of the species. In translation, he states:
Geoffroy Saint Hilaire (1772-1844), the French embryologist, palaeontologist,
and comparative anatomist; Professor of Vertebrate Zoology at the Museum
National d' Histoire Naturelle (1793-1844).
Portrait by Rembrandt Peale,
| "Harris who first
described this animal appears to have been determined to bring it closer
to the family of dogs by classifying it under the name of Cynocéphale,
in the kind of Didelphis, where one joined together almost without any
regard to their very disparate teeth, all marsupial animals discovered
and described at that time. One can conclude, according to the little
that Harris imparts to us on the teeth of the animal that he examined and
counted those. However, he or those charged to publish his manuscript
made a serious fault, since it enumerates the number of molars to the upper
jaw as 6 on each row or 12 in total contrary to the fact that one finds
7 molars everywhere in the 2 jaws and that the total number of death teeth
is 4 more than the true Dasyurids. It is more than probable that
Harris gave the indication of the dental system of a juvenile animal but
in this case should have made mention of it".
| "By comparing the
cranium of this animal with those of dogs one must agree at first glance
the resemblance seems striking but is easy to see that on the whole they
are completely different in a way very marked by the form and the number
of teeth. It is true, that the lengthened shape of the muzzle and
strong conical curved canines give the head of this animal a resemblance
to that of dog's but one can still notice that independently of the disparity
of the teeth, the zygomatics are much more strongly arched than in any
species of dog. The thylacine also differs from the true Dasyurids
with which it was joined not only by the number of true molars but by the
lower form of those on the jaw, size and force of the canines, the length
of the muzzle (and cranial changes) which results in forward
placement of the eyes whereas true Dasyurids have eyes on the sides of
their head. The tail of the thylacine differs primarily from that
of all Dasyurids, the nudity of the point, the compressed form, and a little
widened of root of the end of the tail would seem to indicate as Mr.
Geoffroy has remarked that the thylacine swims with facility.
Coenraad Jacob Temminck
Source: Nouveau recueil de planches
coloriées d'oiseaux (1820-1839) by C. J. Temminck & Baron M.
Laugier de Chartrouse.
This animal, largest of the marsupial carnivores is to be judged by some
by the naked lower part of the heel; it appears that it is accustomed to
often supporting all the plant of the posterior feet. The sexual
organs are very remarkable. The penis is located as in the other
marsupials behind the scrotum. It is long (5 inches and 3 lines)
and its nipple is forked. The scrotum, instead of being attached
by a thin pedicle appears to be received in a small bag stripped of hairs
and located between the thighs; the scrotum is covered with a tightened
fur that is short and reddish in colour except below where the skin
is naked. Having seen only three adult males and a juvenile of the
same sex, it has not been possible as yet for me to check for the existence
of a marsupium in the females but to judge by the conformation of the males
one must conclude that the females have a pouch similar to that of all
of the animals with which thylacine can be compared. The adult thylacine
has the shape of a young wolf, long narrow muzzle with a broad head, broad
rounded ears, eyes set directly above the narrow muzzle, a tail of average
length which is both
|round and blunt and shorter than the
body. The fur is smooth, short, hard and absolutely deprived of woolly
hairs. The hairs of the top of the head and neck are the longest,
those of the back tightened and those of the lower parts finer than the
remainder of the pelt. The dominant colour on the higher parts is
a yellowish brown with a hint of olive, more or less dotted with black,
according to whether the fine points of the hairs are coloured black or
yellow. The black dominates over the chamfer, on the top of the head
and with the shoulders, and the yellowish one on the cheeks, and in the
intervals of the black bands. On the back and towards the base of
the tail are sixteen transverse black bands of a perfect black. They
are distributed so that the first is born from behind the shoulders and
the last two cover the base of the tail.
The first three or four bands are narrow and short and those that follow
have a greater extent; they go down on the sides and the thighs.
All these transverse bands are more or less joined together on the average
line of the back by a longitudinal band. The lower jaw is lighter.
The lower part of the neck, chest, internal thighs and belly are ashy and
take on a darker colour towards the anus; all the area of the scrotum is
reddish. The toes of the feet are hidden under a long and hard hair
of a yellowish white, there are five toes on the front limbs and four on
the hind limbs, all armed with strong blunt nails. The whole of the
shape of this animal offers to the first glance of many a relationship
with wolves, but it is more closely related to the family of Dasyures.
The shape of the tail is singular; initially round at the base, becoming
compressed in the middle, and blunt by the end. It is well provided
with hairs to the
Illustration of a thylacine
skull by Temminck.
Monographies de Mammalogie (1824).
|base, naked in the medium, especially
in top, and finished by a small brush of long and hard hairs. The
zygomatics are isolated and the muzzle arched and compressed with large
nostrils. The juveniles have the same fur colouration as the adults
but their fur is a little longer and less smooth. The distribution
of black bands is absolutely the same. I did not have the occasion
to see the cranium of the juvenile but I examined two damaged skins of
young animals, which has enabled me to comment on their colouration.
Dimensions of the individuals whose skull is illustrated (see page 21)
are overall length 5 feet 2 inches 5 lines (158.53cm); the tail
1 foot 7 inches 2 lines (48.68cm); head 8 inches 11 lines
distance from edge of eye to nose 4 inches 6 lines (11.42cm); height
of the ears 3 inches 6 lines
(8.88cm); height of the body to the
shoulders 1 foot 4 inches 7 lines (42.11cm). A second individual
offers in overall length about 6 feet, and all other corresponding dimensions
in proportion. The animal was discovered in Van Diemen's land in
the parts mountainous and not very accessible from the southernmost ground.
It has been said that the species has since been found throughout Tasmania.
Harris states that the animal lives in the mountains, meadows and the edge
of the sea and takes refuge in caves. It is carnivorous feeding on
echidnas, wallaby and kangaroo. The natural history of this marsupial
carnivore has not yet been studied but they deserve special attention from
the naturalists who will visit Tasmania. Two individuals of a perfect
conservation and strong size form part of the museum of the Bas countries,
a third, less large is in the museum of the Linnean Society in London,
and a fourth in the cabinet of M. Brocks. The two skulls of the museum
of the Pay Bas were removed from the two subjects mentioned above".
from its French source by Dr. Stephen Sleightholme.