National archives photo and audio documents of Australia published a video with the marsupial wolf, this species has disappeared over 80 years ago. 21-second clip, dated 1935, shows the last of a species — a male named Benjamin. Chronologically, this is the latest video with his participation.
Marsupial wolf (Thylacinus cynocephalus), the largest native predator in Australia, lived up to the modern era. According to paleontologists, a few thousand years ago it was widely distributed across the continent, but by the time of the arrival of the Europeans survived only on the island of Tasmania. From here its second name — the Tasmanian tiger. The marsupial wolf is a very striking example of convergent evolution: not being related to canines as a direct relationship, he developed similar anatomical and behavioral characteristics.
Relationships of marsupial wolves and of people has always been difficult. It is assumed that on the continent it became extinct due to the emergence of competitors — dog Dingo (Canis familiaris dingo), introduced by people from Southeast Asia more than three thousand years ago. In Tasmania, where the Dingo is not reached, marsupial wolves survived until the early twentieth century, but were destroyed by farmers of European descent who unjustly accused them of hunting sheep. Maybe his role in the disappearance of species has played a disease, trapped on the island with the colonists, and low genetic diversity.
In 1936 in a zoo in Hobart died last marsupial wolf is a male named Benjamin. Previously unknown video featuring this individual published the national archive of photographic and audio documents of Australia. Recording a duration of 21 seconds, showing Benjamin in the zoo aviary.
Video is a part of the film “Tasmania is a Wonderland” (“Tasmania The Wonderland”), tells of the attractions of the island. It is possible to hear VoiceOver, which says that Benjamin is the only representative of this rare species in captivity. Apparently, at the moment of recording the video no one guessed that the wild marsupial wolves had already left.
A short video may not seem too impressive, but it is important for several reasons. First, to have survived only about three minute video, depicting marsupial wolves, all black and white and without sound. Any new piece of zoologists provides valuable information about the behavior of extinct animals.
Second, a new record, it seems, is the most recent video with the image of a marsupial wolf. It was made in 1935, a year before the death of Benjamin, while the more famous movie, which you can see below, is dated 1933.
Despite the fact that scientists do not doubt the extinction of the marsupial wolf, some enthusiasts continue to believe that the beast still lives in remote corners of Tasmania. Some even say they saw him, but can’t bring any convincing evidence.
The marsupial wolf was one of the last representatives of Australian megafauna — an amazing community of giant marsupials, flightless birds and predatory reptiles that inhabited the continent for another 40 thousand years ago. The reasons for their disappearance remain a subject of heated scientific debate. Most experts are inclined to the hypothesis that the Australian megafauna became a victim of people. However, the results of a new study indicatethat the ancient giants co-existed with the ancestors of aboriginal people 20 thousand years and become a victim of climate change.
Sergey Knee High