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Tasmanian wolf, 1821

Tasmanian wolf, 1821

C028/9609

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Credit

PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Tasmanian wolf (Thylacinus cynocephalus), 19th-century illustration. Also called the thylacine, this species of marsupial is considered extinct. The last confirmed sighting in the wild was in Tasmania in 1933, and the last captive animal died in 1936. None have been found since, despite extensive searches. Unrelated to the dog or wolf, the thylacine was about the size of a small wolf, making it the largest marsupial carnivore in recent times. Fossils of the species have been found in New Guinea, Australia and Tasmania. This plate, with contemporary hand colouring, is from F. J. Beruch's 'Bilderbuch fur Kinder' (1821). This is the first coloured representation of the animal, based on the black and white drawing by Harris in 1808 in the first formal description of the thylacine.

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