Thylacine

While in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia I picked up this 1896 color lithograph print by naturalist Richard Lydekker. It’s a Thylacine, an extinct marsupial carnivore once found in Tasmania. Some people believe there are remnant populations still around in the rural areas of Tasmania. The proprietor of the antique book store from which I purchased the print conveyed a story which I will paraphrase.

Some time ago a Tasmanian woman was in the shop, and thumbing through some prints came across a sketch of a Tasmanian Tiger. She nonchalantly noted, as if talking about the weather, that she had once seen a “tiger” some 30 years ago crossing a road in Tasmania. The shape and stripes, and low drooping hind-quarters were unmistakeable.


Here’s a famous water color by AE King, available as a post card from the Museum of Natural History in Sydney.


Here’s a reconstuction of an ancient Thylacine from the Sydney Museum.

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