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

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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?
Phys.Org
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.

2 comments:

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.