Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thylacine/Dingo Interaction

The latest cryptozoological cause célèbre is a research paper which has suggested that the mainland thylacine was out-competed by the dingo. Here are just a few of the newspaper stories about it:

Dingoes led to mainland thylacine's demise
ABC Science Online
Dingo dinner The dingo did it according to a new theory on why the iconic thylacine became extinct on mainland Australia about 3000 years ago.

Bigger and brainier: did dingoes kill thylacines?
Skulls of two thylacines and a dingo from the Nullarbor in Western Australia. A thylacine, thought to be female (left); a male thylacine (middle); ...

Dingoes hunted Tasmanian Tigers to extinction
ABC Online
Thylacines, more commonly known as Tasmanian tigers, once roamed the mainland ... TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Faded black and white footage of the last thylacine in ...

Claims dingoes 'wiped out' Tasmanian tigers
ABC Online
Thylacines, more commonly known as Tasmanian tigers, have been extinct since ... Faded black and white footage of the last thylacine in captivity shows a ...

Dingoes may have wiped out Tasmanian tiger on mainland
The Conversation
Dingoes were twice the size of female thylacines and could have caused their extinction on mainland ... The last known Tasmanian thylacine died in 1936.


Richard Freeman said...

I have never brought this theory as thylacines had much stronger jaws and could also kick like kangaroos.

Dan said...

Doesn't have to be direct killing of thylacines by dingoes; mere competition in the same ecological niche could quite easily have pushed the thylacines down to low numbers where random extinction events from drought would finish them off.

Or would it?

I'd personally like to see what would happen in Australia if a proper effort were made there to control (with a view to extincting) introduced mesopredators like foxes and domestic cats, and secondarily a policy of if not removing but certainly confining dingoes to a few set areas of the continent.

Doing so would open up a lot of the ecological niches that the thylacines occupied; if there is a relict population, clobbering the competition might let them recover.