dcsimg

Untitled

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Benjamin, a female Tasmanian wolf was the name of the last known animal in captivity. She was one of three cubs, whom, with their mother, were captured and displayed at the Hobart Zoo in Australia. Benjamin was the last survivor of these cubs and lived to a record age of 12 years and 7 months. Today, she is not only known as the oldest living Tasmanian wolf, but is also the last.

Professor Archer, the current Dean of Science at the University of New South Wales and professor of paleontology, hypothesizes that it may be possible for a living Tasmanian wolf to be cloned using the DNA from an infant female specimen preserved in alcohol since 1866 at the Australian Museum. This however, would require considerably more effort than simply cloning large domesticated livestock.

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Treu, P. 2013. "Thylacinus cynocephalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thylacinus_cynocephalus.html
author
Paul Treu, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Christopher Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
editor
Laura Podzikowski, Special Projects
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Behavior

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Although Tasmanian wolves are relatively solitary creatures, vocalizations have been documented when they are disturbed or excited. Gould noted in 1863 that when disturbed, Tasmanian wolves would dash about making short guttural cries close to those of barks. It was noted by Le Souef and Burrell (1926) that when excited they would make a series of husky, coughing barks, with wheezing on the inhale.

The skull of the Tasmanian wolves reveals an enlarged sinus cavity hypothesized to account for its great sense of smell, which is primarily used in hunting. Since these marsupials are semi-nocturnal, the use of sight is a necessity; the quality of its sight however, is another matter. In captivity, the Tasmanian wolves are documented ignoring potential threats (such as zoo personnel) and seeking shelter from the sun regardless of temperature. Its been noted that Tasmanian wolves exhibit vibrissae on its muzzle similar to the placental wolf.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Treu, P. 2013. "Thylacinus cynocephalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thylacinus_cynocephalus.html
author
Paul Treu, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Christopher Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
editor
Laura Podzikowski, Special Projects
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

provided by Animal Diversity Web

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: extinct

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Treu, P. 2013. "Thylacinus cynocephalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thylacinus_cynocephalus.html
author
Paul Treu, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Christopher Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
editor
Laura Podzikowski, Special Projects
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Benefits

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Tasmanian wolves were thought to be the source of many agricultural problems for Australian settlers. Sheep herds were thought to be mutilated by Tasmanian wolves. Humans however have attained minimal personal injury from their encounters with these creatures. Of the injuries on record were bites presumably a result of self-defense.

Negative Impacts: injures humans (bites or stings); crop pest

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Treu, P. 2013. "Thylacinus cynocephalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thylacinus_cynocephalus.html
author
Paul Treu, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Christopher Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
editor
Laura Podzikowski, Special Projects
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Benefits

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Tasmanian wolves were a primary source of income for many trappers during the years of their persecution. There are multiple documented cases of payouts to those able to capture and or kill these creatures. Captured Tasmanian wolves were transported to zoos as far as New York City.

Positive Impacts: body parts are source of valuable material; ecotourism ; research and education

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Treu, P. 2013. "Thylacinus cynocephalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thylacinus_cynocephalus.html
author
Paul Treu, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Christopher Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
editor
Laura Podzikowski, Special Projects
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Associations

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Tasmanian wolves were the largest marsupial carnivore and were at the top of the food chain. With this position in mind, Tasmanian wolves would keep other prey populations within reasonable limits. One such species is the wallaby (one of the Tasmanian wolves hypothesized food sources), whose populations have risen dramatically.

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Treu, P. 2013. "Thylacinus cynocephalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thylacinus_cynocephalus.html
author
Paul Treu, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Christopher Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
editor
Laura Podzikowski, Special Projects
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Trophic Strategy

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Some of the earliest data depicts the consumption of echidnas (Troughton 1967) regardless of the difficulty to do so. Australian bushman have discovered Tasmanian wolf dens that were half filled with bones, including those belonging to livestock animals such as calves and sheep. The possibility of these animals being scavenged (although unlikely) still exists. It has been witnessed that in the wild, this marsupial will only eat what it kills, and it never will return to the site of a kill. In captivity Tasmanian wolves ate meat (Gunn 1863). It was also found during the inspection of livestock kills, that Tasmanian wolves would consume only specific parts of the animal. Due to this the myth arose that they preferred to drink blood. However other parts of these animals were consumed, such as liver and kidney fat, nasal tissues, and some muscle tissues. Through various bone samples of Tasmanian wolf dens, its native prey included wallabies, potoroos, and bettongs.

Animal Foods: birds; mammals; blood

Foraging Behavior: stores or caches food

Primary Diet: carnivore (Eats terrestrial vertebrates, Sanguivore )

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Treu, P. 2013. "Thylacinus cynocephalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thylacinus_cynocephalus.html
author
Paul Treu, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Christopher Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
editor
Laura Podzikowski, Special Projects
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Distribution

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Although Tasmanian wolves (also known as Tasmanian tigers or thylacines) are considered extinct, their original prehistoric range was thought to extend throughout much of mainland Australia and Papua New Guinea. This range has been confirmed through various cave drawings, such as those found by Wright in 1972, and bone collections that have been radiocarbon dated to 180 years before present. Tasmanian wolves are now considered extinct. Thylacines were last known to inhabit Tasmania, where they were hunted to extinction.

Biogeographic Regions: australian (Native )

Other Geographic Terms: island endemic

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Treu, P. 2013. "Thylacinus cynocephalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thylacinus_cynocephalus.html
author
Paul Treu, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Christopher Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
editor
Laura Podzikowski, Special Projects
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Habitat

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Although the preferred habitat of Tasmanian wolves was never thoroughly described, remains have been collected throughout Australasian coastal regions. From colonial times until their extinction, Tasmanian wolves were found throughout Tasmania. They were most often seen in hilly country, resting during the day in forest and scrub, and hunt during the afternoon and evening in bordering thickets. Other descriptions suggest Tasmanian wolves were found in forested areas and grasslands. These observations may not represent the native preferences, though, because Tasmanian wolves were actively persecuted during this time and that may have effected their behavior. The last remaining populations were restricted to dense rainforests in Tasmania. Tasmanian wolf lairs were located mainly in hollow logs or rock outcroppings located in hilly areas that were adjacent to open areas, such as grasslands.

Average elevation: 330 m.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; rainforest ; scrub forest

Wetlands: marsh

Other Habitat Features: suburban ; agricultural ; riparian

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Treu, P. 2013. "Thylacinus cynocephalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thylacinus_cynocephalus.html
author
Paul Treu, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Christopher Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
editor
Laura Podzikowski, Special Projects
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Life Expectancy

provided by Animal Diversity Web

The lifespan of Tasmanian wolves is largely unknown. The record for Tasmanian wolf longevity in captivity was a female with the approximate age of 12 years and 7 months, spending 9.5 of those years in captivity. Based on individuals in captivity it is estimated that the lifespan of a wild Tasmanian wolf was 8 to 10 years.

Range lifespan
Status: captivity:
12.6 (high) years.

Typical lifespan
Status: wild:
6 to 10 years.

Typical lifespan
Status: captivity:
8 to 12.6 hours.

Average lifespan
Status: captivity:
9 hours.

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Treu, P. 2013. "Thylacinus cynocephalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thylacinus_cynocephalus.html
author
Paul Treu, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Christopher Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
editor
Laura Podzikowski, Special Projects
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Morphology

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Tasmanian wolves had an overall body length of approximately 1230 to 1950 mm, measuring 990 to 1295 mm from the nose to the base of the tail, which measures an additional 508 to 660 mm. They ranged from 350 to 600 mm tall at the shoulders and weighed from 15 to 30 kg. Males were slightly larger than females.

Tasmanian wolf body structure closely resembles that of eutherian wolves and relatives. However, Tasmanian wolves are marsupials and have a pouch (which is rear opening). Their coat was short and dense and grey or yellow-brown and marked with 13 to 19 dark transverse stripes beginning behind the shoulder blades, gradually increasing in both length and width (Moeller 1968). They also had strong, thick tails (Thomas 1888). They had relatively narrow snouts with, on average, 24 sensory whiskers (Lyne 1959). They had whitish markings around the eyes and on the base of the ears, as well on the area around the upper lip (Le Souef and Burrell 1926). They had strong jaws with 46 teeth specialized for carnivory (Archer 1976c). Their paws were fitted with non-retractable claws that aided in their digitigrade locomotion (Pocock 1926). They were also capable of occasional “sole walking," or bipedal hopping, similar to kangaroos (Gunn 1863). The dental formula was i 4/3, c 1/1, pm 3/3, m 4/4. Tasmanian wolves had long canines, shearing premolars, and grinding molars, all of which are quite similar to those of dogs. In females, the pouch was located by the tail and had a fold of skin covering the four mammae.

Range mass: 15 to 30 kg.

Range length: 1230 to 1950 mm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: male larger; ornamentation

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Treu, P. 2013. "Thylacinus cynocephalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thylacinus_cynocephalus.html
author
Paul Treu, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Christopher Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
editor
Laura Podzikowski, Special Projects
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Associations

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Of all the marsupial carnivores in the Australasia region, Tasmanian wolves were the largest. It was also one of the most well adapted and the most skilled hunters. With origins dating back to prehistoric times, Tasmanian wolves were considered one of the top predators in the food chain, making predation of this animal unlikely. Regardless, Tasmanian wolves have become classified as extinct due to predation my humans. Through the documentation of government sanctioned bounty hunts and historic personal accounts, a portrait of animal persecution is readily apparent. Through the late 18th century to early 19th century, the mass killing of what we considered to be “pests,” claimed nearly its entire population. The competition from human introduced invasive species such as the dingo, and the destruction of natural Tasmanian wolf territories, pushed the animal past its breaking point. This resulted in the extinction of one of Australia’s most amazing predatory marsupials.

Known Predators:

  • humans (Homo sapiens)

Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Treu, P. 2013. "Thylacinus cynocephalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thylacinus_cynocephalus.html
author
Paul Treu, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Christopher Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
editor
Laura Podzikowski, Special Projects
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Reproduction

provided by Animal Diversity Web

Tasmanian wolves were elusive animals and mating patterns were not well-documented. Guiler (1926) speculated about breeding behaviors based on bounty records. He documented that only one pair of male and female adult Tasmanian wolves were ever captured or killed together. This led Guiler to assume that they only came together for mating and were otherwise solitary. However, it may also indicate monogamy.

Although there is relatively little data on their behavior, Guiler (1961) used bounty records to estimate breeding season. Although “half growns” (and their mothers) were taken during every season, the highest numbers of post pouch young were taken in May, July, August, and September. He estimated that the breeding season lasted approximately 4 months and was separated by a gap of 2 months. It is thought that a female would begin breeding in autumn and could have a second litter of young after the first was weaned. Other sources indicate births may have occurred continously throughout the year but were concentrated in the summer months (December-March). Gestation period is unknown, but it is believed that the young (usually 2-4) stayed in the pouch for about 3 months and remained with the mother for another 6 months.

Breeding interval: Tasmanian wolves may have bred twice each year.

Breeding season: Tasmanian wolves may have had a 4 month long breeding season, although the timing may have been variable.

Range number of offspring: 2 to 4.

Average weaning age: 2 months.

Average time to independence: 6 months.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization ; viviparous

Tasmanian wolf females invested significantly in their young. They were documented caring for 3 to 4 young carried by the mother in her rear-facing pouch until they were no longer able to fit there. While in the pouch, the young were nursed in the pouch on her 4 teats. Juveniles are thought to remain with their mothers until they were at least half grown.

Parental Investment: altricial ; female parental care ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); extended period of juvenile learning

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
bibliographic citation
Treu, P. 2013. "Thylacinus cynocephalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Thylacinus_cynocephalus.html
author
Paul Treu, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Christopher Yahnke, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
editor
Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
editor
Laura Podzikowski, Special Projects
original
visit source
partner site
Animal Diversity Web

Biology

provided by Arkive
Very few observational studies were carried out on wild or captive thylacines; we therefore know very little about their natural ecology and behaviour (3). These carnivores are reported to have been mainly solitary and nocturnal (4), although small groups probably consisting of a mother and her offspring have been reported (3). Due to conflicting reports, there is some controversy as to whether breeding occurred more often in the summer or winter. Litters of up to four young were possible due to the four teats within the female's backwards-opening pouch (3). Young remained in the pouch for around four months (7) and then were probably left in a den whilst the mother went on hunting forays; the young may have joined her on these trips when they were older (2). Thylacines were carnivorous and are likely to have preyed upon kangaroos, small rodents and birds (4). Some reports suggest that these mammals hunted by pursuing their prey over great distances until it tired (3). Thylacines became notorious for killing sheep once European settlers began to farm, a factor that was at the forefront of their persecution. The thylacine is reported to have a fairly stiff gait, but is also believed to have been an agile animal and had been seen standing on its hind legs, supported by its tail in a manner resembling a kangaroo (3).
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Wildscreen
original
visit source
partner site
Arkive

Conservation

provided by Arkive
In 1938, the thylacine became protected by Tasmanian law and in 1966 a game reserve was proposed (but not enforced) on Maria Island off the east coast of Tasmania, which would have protected any thylacines should they have been captured (7). Unconfirmed sightings of this fascinating marsupial continue to this day, but numerous searches have provided no concrete evidence that the species still exists (5). The UK's International Thylacine Specimen Database (ITSD), which was released on CD-ROM in April 2005, is a project that has endeavoured to catalogue and digitally photograph (where possible) all known surviving specimen material held within museum, university and private collections around the world. It comprises skins, skeletons, skulls, taxidermy mounts and wet specimens. Wet specimens include four adults preserved in alcohol and ten thylacine pups. The ITSD has been designed as a free access academic tool to promote and facilitate undergraduate and postgraduate research into the species, and helps to forever preserve what little is left (8). Such resources not only facilitate research into this extinct animal, but also serve as an important reminder of the fate that awaits many of our endangered species in the future, should we not do more to protect them now. The thylacine is still an important part of the Tasmanian national conscience and recent talks of the possibility of cloning an animal from DNA preserved in a specimen held at the Australian Museum has sparked massive debate (5). The practicalities of cloning however, and the ethical decisions involved, mean that this possibility is a very long way from becoming a reality (5).
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Wildscreen
original
visit source
partner site
Arkive

Description

provided by Arkive
The thylacine was the largest marsupial carnivore but it is now widely believed to be extinct (1). Despite similarities with canids such as the wolf, the thylacine was extremely distinctive, and the canine appearance was offset by the tapered hindquaters, relatively short legs and broad-based tail (2), which cannot be wagged from side-to-side (7). The short, coarse fur was a dirty yellow-brown with 13 to 19 transverse brown stripes running from the upper back to the base of the tail (3); animals from highland areas had a richer cinnamon-brown coat (7). There were lighter patches of fur (3) surrounding the eyes and near the erect, rounded ears (4). The belly was cream coloured, females carried a backwards-opening pouch (3), and males possessed a pseudo pouch in the form of a fold of skin that protected the testes when moving quickly through low bushland (7). The thylacine was renowned for its ability to open its jaw remarkably wide; whilst it is highly unlikely that this yawn was as wide as is sometimes quoted (180°), the gape was still the widest of any mammal (3), and is surpassed only by that of the snake (7). This species is a classic example of 'convergent evolution'; it is a marsupial mammal that closely resembles the placental canids, especially the wolf from which one of its common names is derived, due to the similarities in their way of life (5).
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Wildscreen
original
visit source
partner site
Arkive

Habitat

provided by Arkive
Thylacines preferred open forest and grassland (1). As the human population expanded however, thylacines retreated into the more inaccessible hinterland of Tasmania (7).
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Wildscreen
original
visit source
partner site
Arkive

Range

provided by Arkive
The thylacine once ranged throughout Tasmania, mainland Australia and Papua New Guinea, although it may have been lost from the latter two locations more than 2,000 years ago (2). It was still widespread in Tasmania at the time of European colonisation but by the early 20th Century had been massively reduced, and in 1930 the last recorded killing of a wild individual occurred (1). The last captive thylacine (known as Benjamin) persisted in Hobart Zoo until 1936, and despite a number of unsubstantiated sightings, the species is now believed to be extinct (3).
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Wildscreen
original
visit source
partner site
Arkive

Status

provided by Arkive
Classified as Extinct (EX) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Wildscreen
original
visit source
partner site
Arkive

Threats

provided by Arkive
There is still no conclusive evidence as to what caused the disappearance of the thylacine from mainland Australia, although competition with introduced Asian dogs (dingos) is widely believed to have played a part (3). On the island of Tasmania (where there are no dingos) the thylacine was persecuted to extinction by a long-running eradication campaign (3). The species was widely blamed for many sheep attacks and by the mid 1800s was extensively hunted (3). Between 1888 and 1909, the Tasmanian Government paid bounty for 2,184 thylacine skins (6), although it is likely that the actual number killed during this time was many more. By the early 1900s, thylacines were noticeably rare and the last reported killing occurred in 1930 (1). Other factors such as habitat loss, disease and competition with feral dogs all helped to send this remarkable animal to extinction (4).
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Wildscreen
original
visit source
partner site
Arkive

International Thylacine Specimen Database (ITSD)

provided by EOL authors
The International Thylacine Specimen Database (ITSD) is the culmination of a four-year research project to catalogue and digitally photograph all known surviving specimen material of the Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) (or Tasmanian tiger) held within museum, university, and private collections.
“Certainly in my experience this is by far the most thorough compilation focused on an extinct or endangered animal ever produced and, as such, bound to be enormously useful to many generations of scientists to come.” Prof. Mike Archer, Dean of Science University of New South Wales.
The ITSD was first published as an electronic resource on a series of three CD-ROM’s in April 2005. It was updated in July 2006 and completely revised in May 2009 and released on a single DVD totalling some 3.68 GB of data and images
The ITSD has been designed as a free access academic tool to promote & facilitate undergraduate and postgraduate research into the species. It can be accessed through the offices of the curators and heads of department of the universities and museums that hold thylacine material or alternatively through the libraries of several of the major zoological societies.
The ITSD lists all available catalogue data for each individual specimen e.g. holding institution, catalogue identification number, sex, date of acquisition, specimen type, source, locality, collector, field number, old or additional catalogue numbers, purchase or exchange information and finally any additional remarks pertaining to the specimen.
To support the data component and to significantly enhance its educational worth, high-resolution digital images of the specimens are included. The ITSD specimen image bank forms the largest single photographic resource of its kind anywhere in the world. The primary justification for including digital images was to:
1. Give researchers remote visual access to thylacine specimen material and to the accompanying data thus encouraging and promoting continued research into the species.
2. Conserve source specimen material from excessive handling hence directly contributing to its long-term conservation.
3. Assist with the security of source material in that a photographic record exists for all specimens within the database.
4. Preserve digital images of the specimens in their current state of preservation.
“The data sets within the ITSD are supported by an image bank of around 2000 high-resolution digital photographs of the specimens themselves. All biological material deteriorates over time and these unique digital images will act as a permanent record of the specimens for future generations in their present state of preservation”. Nicholas Ayliffe Principal Photographer to the ITSD Project
Specimen material within the ITSD comprises skins, skeletons, skulls, taxidermy mounts and wet specimens. Wet specimens are whole animals, organs or body parts that have been preserved in either alcohol or formalin. Specimens of the Thylacine are spread extensively around the globe so the search to locate these specimens was from the outset an international search involving a total of 106 museum, university and private collections in 23 countries.
“The International Thylacine Specimen Database is a unique and precise database of the largest modern day marsupial carnivore. I am confident that all researchers will appreciate both its complexity and accuracy as a research tool. It is a wonderful resource and an extremely valuable part of Australia’s natural heritage.” Prof. Dr. Heinz F. Moeller Former Director of the Zoological Museum & Department of Comparative Morphology of Vertebrates, Heidelberg University Author of “Der Beutelwolf”
The master copy of the ITSD is held at the Zoological Society in London with mirror copies held within the University of Tasmania in Hobart, the Australian National Wildlife Collection in Canberra and the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery in Launceston. The master and mirror copies are kept constantly revised and updated as new information comes to light. The Zoological Society was chosen to hold the master copy of the ITSD because of its historic association with the Thylacine. The bulk of the early scientific papers on the species were published within its "Proceedings" and the society's zoo in Regent's Park exhibited more Thylacines than any other zoo outside Australia.
Each year the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales hosts the Whitley Awards. These awards are a tribute to Gilbert Whitley, the eminent Australian ichthyologist and are presented for outstanding publications that contain a significant amount of new information relating to the fauna of the Australasian region. In September 2005 the International Thylacine Specimen Database was awarded the Whitley Award for the best zoological database. This was the first time in the history of the awards that a Whitley citation had been presented for a database.
license
cc-by-nc
original
visit source
partner site
EOL authors

International Thylacine Specimen Database (ITSD)

provided by EOL authors
The International Thylacine Specimen Database (ITSD) is the culmination of a four-year research project to catalogue and digitally photograph all known surviving specimen material of the Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) (or Tasmanian tiger) held within museum, university, and private collections.
“Certainly in my experience this is by far the most thorough compilation focused on an extinct or endangered animal ever produced and, as such, bound to be enormously useful to many generations of scientists to come.” Prof. Mike Archer, Dean of Science University of New South Wales.
The ITSD was first published as an electronic resource on a series of three CD-ROM’s in April 2005. It was updated in July 2006 and completely revised in May 2009 and released on a single DVD totalling some 3.68 GB of data and images
The ITSD has been designed as a free access academic tool to promote & facilitate undergraduate and postgraduate research into the species. It can be accessed through the offices of the curators and heads of department of the universities and museums that hold thylacine material or alternatively through the libraries of several of the major zoological societies.
The ITSD lists all available catalogue data for each individual specimen e.g. holding institution, catalogue identification number, sex, date of acquisition, specimen type, source, locality, collector, field number, old or additional catalogue numbers, purchase or exchange information and finally any additional remarks pertaining to the specimen.
To support the data component and to significantly enhance its educational worth, high-resolution digital images of the specimens are included. The ITSD specimen image bank forms the largest single photographic resource of its kind anywhere in the world. The primary justification for including digital images was to:
1. Give researchers remote visual access to thylacine specimen material and to the accompanying data thus encouraging and promoting continued research into the species.
2. Conserve source specimen material from excessive handling hence directly contributing to its long-term conservation.
3. Assist with the security of source material in that a photographic record exists for all specimens within the database.
4. Preserve digital images of the specimens in their current state of preservation.
“The data sets within the ITSD are supported by an image bank of around 2000 high-resolution digital photographs of the specimens themselves. All biological material deteriorates over time and these unique digital images will act as a permanent record of the specimens for future generations in their present state of preservation”. Nicholas Ayliffe Principal Photographer to the ITSD Project
Specimen material within the ITSD comprises skins, skeletons, skulls, taxidermy mounts and wet specimens. Wet specimens are whole animals, organs or body parts that have been preserved in either alcohol or formalin. Specimens of the Thylacine are spread extensively around the globe so the search to locate these specimens was from the outset an international search involving a total of 106 museum, university and private collections in 23 countries.
“The International Thylacine Specimen Database is a unique and precise database of the largest modern day marsupial carnivore. I am confident that all researchers will appreciate both its complexity and accuracy as a research tool. It is a wonderful resource and an extremely valuable part of Australia’s natural heritage.” Prof. Dr. Heinz F. Moeller Former Director of the Zoological Museum & Department of Comparative Morphology of Vertebrates, Heidelberg University Author of “Der Beutelwolf”
The master copy of the ITSD is held at the Zoological Society in London with mirror copies held within the University of Tasmania in Hobart, the Australian National Wildlife Collection in Canberra and the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery in Launceston. The master and mirror copies are kept constantly revised and updated as new information comes to light. The Zoological Society was chosen to hold the master copy of the ITSD because of its historic association with the Thylacine. The bulk of the early scientific papers on the species were published within its "Proceedings" and the society's zoo in Regent's Park exhibited more Thylacines than any other zoo outside Australia.
Each year the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales hosts the Whitley Awards. These awards are a tribute to Gilbert Whitley, the eminent Australian ichthyologist and are presented for outstanding publications that contain a significant amount of new information relating to the fauna of the Australasian region. In September 2005 the International Thylacine Specimen Database was awarded the Whitley Award for the best zoological database. This was the first time in the history of the awards that a Whitley citation had been presented for a database.
license
cc-by-nc
original
visit source
partner site
EOL authors