The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database


Dromaius novaehollandiae diemenensis Le Souëf, 1907:13

Tasmanian emu

 

 

Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Dromaeius diemenensis Le Souëf, 1907:13; Dromaeius diemenensis Le Souëf, 1904a,b; Dromaius diemenianus Le Souëf, 1907:13

 

The taxonomic status of the extinct emus from Flinders Island is not certain (McCarthy, 1965; Serventy, 1967?; Hume & Walters, 2012:23). Julian Hume et al. searched Flinders Island for subfossil material, but did not find any (Hume, 2017; Hume et al., 2017).

 

Conservation Status

Last Record: 1839 or later; 1865?; 1873 (Le Souëf, 1904b:230)

 

Distribution

Tasmania, Australia

 

Biology

 

 

Folklore

Aboriginal Song sung by the Women in chorus, by various Tribes of the Natives of Van Diemen's Land.

 

Nīkkĕh nīngĕh tībrĕh nīckĕh    mōllŷgă pōllŷlă...

The married woman     hunts     the kangaroo and wallaby. . .

Nāmă rykēnnĕh trĕhgānā...

The emu runs in the forest...

Nābĕh thīnnīnnĕh trĕhgānă.

The boomer (kangaroo) runs in the forest.

Nĕhnānĕh kĕhgrēnnă... nynābythĭnnĕh...

    The young emu...          the little kangaroo...

          trīngĕh gūggĕrră...            pȳāthĭnnĕh...

the little joey (sucking kangaroo)... the bandicoot...

nŷnābŷthīnnĕh-kōōbrŷnĕh... mārĕh tĕrrēnnĕh...

the little kangaroo-rat...       the white kangaroo-rat...

pŷāthĭnnĕh pŭngōōthīnnĕh... lŏŏkōōthīnnĕh...

    the little opossum...           the ringtailed opossum...

   mytōppynĕh... trŷnōōnĕh...

the big opossum...    the tiger-cat...

   wāthĕrrūngĭnnă... mārĕh būnnă..

the dog-faced opossum... the black cat.

 

Source: https://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks13/1300961h.html

 

Hypodigm

"Ronald Campbell Gunn also collected animals for the British Museum, including the now extinct Tasmanian emu." (p.181)

(source: Webb, Joan. (2003). The Botanical Endeavour: Journey Towards a Flora of Australia. Chipping Norton, NSW: Surrey Betty & Sons. 289 pp.)

 

An intact egg with a chick inside is in private hands in Tasmania (Anonymous, pers. comm. 16 November 2016).

 

Media

 

 

References

Original scientific description:

Le Souëf, William Henry Dudley (1907): [Description of Dromaius novaehollandiae diemenensis]. Bull. Brit. Ornithol. Club 21: 13.

 

Other references:

Anonymous. (1803). Ship News. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Sunday, 16 October, p. 4.

Anonymous. (1804). Ship News. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Sunday, 26 August, p. 3.

Anonymous. (1828a). Trade and Shipping. The Hobart Town Courier, Saturday, 26 July, p. 3. [dog eating a Tasmanian emu]

Anonymous. (1828b). Loss of the Woodlark. Colonial Advocate, and Tasmanian Monthly Review and Register, Friday, 1 August, p. 45. [dog eating a Tasmanian emu]

Anonymous. (1919). A Tasmanian Sanctuary. The Sydney Mail, Wednesday, 2 April, p. 12. [last emu early 1830's]

Anonymous. (1924). The Tasmanian Emu. Sydney Mail, Wednesday, 2 January, p. 34.

Backhouse, James. (1837). Extracts from the Letters of James Backhouse. London: Harvey and Darton.

Boles, Walter E. (1992). Revision of Dromaius gidju Patterson & Rich 1987 from Riversleigh, northwest Queensland, Australia, with a reassessment of its generic position. Contributions to the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History 36: 195-208.

Boyce, (Peter) James. (2004). A Dog's Breakfast... Lunch and Dinner: Canine Dependency in Early Van Diemen's Land." THRA Papers and Proceedings 51(4): 194-214.

Boyce, (Peter) James. (2006a). Canine Revolution: The Social and Environmental Impact of the Introduction of the Dog to Tasmania. Environmental History 11(1): 102-139.

Boyce, (Peter) James. (2006b). An environmental history of British settlement in Van Diemen's Land: The making of a distinct people, 1798-1831. Doctoral dissertation, University of Tasmania.

Boyce, (Peter) James. (2008a). Return to Eden: Van Diemen's Land and the early British settlement of Australia. Environment and History 14(2): 289-307.

Boyce, (Peter) James. (2008b). The lost Tasmanian emu - can we bring it home? 40 [degrees] South 51: 14-16.

Bryant, Sally L. and Jackson, J. (1999). Tasmania's Threatened Fauna Handbook: What, Where and How to Protect Tasmania's Threatened Animals. Threatened Species Unit, DPIWE, Hobart. [p. 213-214]

Campbell, A. J. (1900). Nests and eggs of Australian birds. Sheffield: Pawson & Brailsford.

Condon, H. T. (1967). Kangaroo Island and its vertebrate land fauna. Australian Natural History 15(12): 409-412.

Cosgrove, Richard. (1995). The Illusion of Riches: Scale, Resolution and Explanation in Tasmanian Pleistocene Human Behaviour. B.A.R. International Series 608. Oxford: Tempus Reparatum.

Cosgrove, Richard. (1999). Forty-Two Degrees South: The Archaeology of Late Pleistocene Tasmania. Journal of World Prehistory 13(4): 357-402. [table VII, p. 384]

Cosgrove, Richard, Allen, Jim and Marshall Brendan. (1990). Palaeo-ecology and Pleistocene human occupation in south central Tasmania. Antiquity 64(242): 59-78.

Cosgrove, Richard and Allen, Jim. (2001). Prey Choice and Hunting Strategies in the Late Pleistocene: Evidence from Southwest Tasmania, pp. 397-430. In: Anderson, A., O'Connor, S. and Lilley, I. (eds.). Histories of Old Ages: Essays in Honour of Rhys Jones. Canberra: Coombs Academic Publishing.

Dickison, Dudley John. (1925). When did the Tasmanian Emu Become Extinct? Emu 25(3): 213.

Dooley, Robert. (2017). From 'abundance of emues' to a rare bird in the land: The extinction of the Tasmanian emu. Papers and Proceedings: Tasmanian Historical Research Association 64(3): 4-17. [Abstract]

Dove, Hamilton Stuart. (1924). Notes on the Tasmanian Emu. Emu 23(3): 221-222.

Dove, Hamilton Stuart. (1925a). How Tasmania Lost the Emu. Emu 25(3): 213.

Dove, Hamilton Stuart. (1925b). The Tasmanian Emu. Emu 25(4): 290-291.

Ewing, T. J. (1855). List of the Birds of Tasmania. Royal Society of Tasmania papers and proceedings 3: 142-155.

Garnett, Stephen (ed.). (1992). Threatened and Extinct Birds of Australia. RAOU Report Number 82. 212 pp.

Garnett, S. T. and Crowley, G. M. (2000). The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000. Canberra, ACT: Environment Australia & Birds Australia.

Garvey, Jillian M. (2006). Preliminary zooarchaeological interpretations from Kutikina Cave, south-west Tasmania. Australian Aboriginal Studies 2006(1): 57-62.

Garvey, J. (2007). The wallaby hunters of ice age Tasmania: Australasian Science 28: 30-33.

Giglioli, H. H. (1907). On the extinct emu of the small islands off the south coast of Australia and probably Tasmania. Nature 75: 534.

Gill, E. D. and Banks, M. R. (1956). Cainozoic history of Mowbray Swamp and other areas of north-western Tasmania. Rec. Queen. Vic. Mus. 6: 1-42.

Government Order 15 September 1807, Collins, David, General and Garrison Orders 1803 -1808, ML AK 341.

Green, R. H. (1989). Birds of Tasmania. Launceston: Potoroo Publishing.

James C. Greenway, Jr. (1967). Extinct and vanishing birds of the world, second edition. Dover Publications, Inc., New York.

Gunn, R. (1852). [Letter to the editor]. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 2(1): 168-170.

Hamilton-Arnold, Barbara (ed.). (1994). Letters and Papers of G. P. Harris, 1803-1812: Deputy Surveyor-General of New South Wales at Sullivan Bay, Port Phillip, and Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land. Sorrento, Victoria: Arden Press.

Hocking GJ, Driessen MM (1996) Mammals of northeast Tasmania. Records of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery 103: 163–168. [relevant citation?]

Hume, Julian Pender. (2017). In search of the dwarf emu: extinct emus of Australian islands. Talk to be presented on Monday 13 March to the British Ornithologists' Club. [Abstract]

Hume, Julian Pender, Steel, Lorna, Middleton, Gregory and Medlock, Kathryn. (2017). In search of the dwarf emu: A palaeontological survey of King and Flinders Islands, Bass Strait, Australia. Contribuciones del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadavia" 7: 81-98.

Hume, Julian Pender and Walters, Michael. (2012). Extinct Birds. London: T & AD Poyser.

H. V. E. (1928). The Tasmanian Emu. The Sydney Mail, Wednesday, 30 May, p. 19.

Clark, Julia. (1983). The Aboriginal People of Tasmania. Hobart, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

Legge, William Vincent. (1906*). The emus of Tasmania and King Island. Emu 6(3): 116-119.

Le Souëf, D. (1904a). Collection of Australian birds' eggs and nests in the possession of D. Le Souef, Director, Zoological Gardens, Melbourne. Melbourne.

Le Souëf, D. (1904b). Extinct Tasmanian Emu. Emu 3(4): 229-231.

Lhotsky. (1836). Tasmanian sketches. No. 11. Geographical and on Natural History. The Hobart Town Courier, Friday, 28 October, p. 4.

Macdonald, J. D. (1961). Specimens of extinct Tasmanian Emu. Emu 61(4): 333.

Marchant, S. and Higgins, P. J. (eds.). (1990). The Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

McCarthy, F. D. (1965). The Emu and the Aborigines. Australian Natural History 15: 16-21.

McCarthy, F.D. Investigation of Mt Cameron West Rock Engraving Site, Tasmania. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Newsletter 1969, 2, 4-6.

Milligan, Joseph. (1859). Vocabulary of dialects of the Aboriginal tribes of Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 3: 239-274. [p. 246 'Emu (bird)']

Murray, (1978). Life during the late Pleistocene. In Gee, H., and Fenton, J. (eds.), The southwest book: a Tasmanian wilderness, Australian Conservation Foundation, Melbourne, pp. 98-101.

Murray, P. F., Goede, A., and Bada, J. L. (1980). Pleistocene human occupation at Beginners Luck Cave, Florentine Valley, Tasmania. Archaeology and Physical Anthropology in Oceania 15:142-152.

Murray, P. and Goede, A. (1977). Pleistocene vertebrate remains from a cave near Montague, N.W. Tasmania. Rec. Queen Vict. Mus. 60: 1-30.

Nicholls, Mary (ed.). (1977). The Diary of the Reverend Robert Knopwood, 1803-1838: First Chaplain of Van Diemen's Land. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Noetling, Fritz. (1910). The food of the Tasmanian aborigines. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 63: 279-305.

Plomley, ed., Friendly Mission 288, 425.

Ridpath, M. G. and Moreau, R. E. (1966). The birds of Tasmania: ecology and evolution. Ibis 108(3): 348-393. [Abstract]

Lloyd Robson, A History of Tasmania Vol. 1. Van Diemen's Land from the Earliest Times to 1855 (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1 983) 56, 69.

Scott, Herbert Hedley. (1923). A note on the King Island Emu (including a note on the Tasmanian Emu). Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1923: 103-107.

Scott, Herbert Hedley. (1931). The extinct Tasmanian emu. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1931: 108-110.

Serventy, Dominic L. (1967). The Bass Strait Islands. Australian Natural History 15: 401-408. [relevant citation?]

Sims, Peter C. A note on Aboriginal petroglyphs at Devonport, Tasmania. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasmania 1970, 104, 117–118.

Sims, Peter C. Variation in Tasmanian Petroglyps. In Form in Indigenous Art: Schematisation in the Art of Aboriginal Australia and Prehistoric Europe; Ucko, P.J., Ed.; Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies: Canberra, Australia, 1977; pp. 429-438.

Sims, Peter C. (2013). No Reprieve for Tasmanian Rock Art. Arts 2(4): 182-224.

J. R Skemp and T.E Burns, Van Diemen's Land Correspondents 1827-1849: Letters from R.C Gunn, R.W Lawrence, Jorgen Jorgenson and Others to Sir William J Hooker (Launceston, Tas.: Queen Victoria Museum, 1961) v, 59. 

Spencer, W. Baldwin and Kershaw, J. A. (1910). A Collection of Sub-fossil Bird and Marsupial Remains from King Island, Bass Strait. Mem. Nat. Mus. Melbourne 3: 5-35.

Steinbacher, J. (1959). Weitere Angaben über ausgestorbene, aussterbende und seltene Vögel im Senckenberg-Museum. Senckenbergiana Biologica 40: 1-14.

Steinheimer, Frank D. (2002). Darwin, Rüppell, Landbeck & Co. - Important Historical Collections at The Natural History Museum, Tring. Bonner zoologische Beiträge 51(2-3): 175-188.

Thomson, Vicki A., Mitchell, Kieren J., Eberhard, Rolan, Dortch, Joe, Austin, Jeremy J. and Cooper, Alan. (2018). Genetic diversity and drivers of dwarfism in extinct island emu populations. Biology Letters 14(4): 20170617. [Abstract]

Webb, Joan. (2003). The Botanical Endeavour: Journey Towards a Flora of Australia. Chipping Norton, NSW: Surrey Betty & Sons. 289 pp.

Worthy, Trevor H. and Nguyen, Jacqueline M. T. (2020). An annotated checklist of the fossil birds of Australia. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 144(1): 66-108.

https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=KixK4CZQZp0C&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&ots=6OAtdS7Poo&sig=I75-kDP43Q5rKzpLU_PqwprwOd0#v=onepage&q&f=false

https://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/4777889/who-killed-the-tasmanian-emu/

https://extinctanimals.proboards.com/thread/9318/dromaius-diemenensis-tasmanian-emu

 

* Published in 1907?

 

<< Back to the Casuariiformes database