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The Early European Thylacine Literature: 1642-1850

The period of early thylacine literature is going to be subjectively demarcated. For me it spans the first possible (though extremely dubious) record of the species: the tracks of a 'tyger' (1642). And ends with the year the species was first displayed outside of Australia, at London Zoo (1850). The advantage of this is that it spans over two centuries, and thus encompasses enough material to discern changing social attitudes towards the species. And yet is not unwieldly given the paucity of textual material each year. It is thus the (almost) perfect balance of depth and breadth.

I have tried to reproduce the texts as close to the originals as possible. However, the need to translate texts or modify archaic characters has meant that the original sources should be consulted if absolute accuracy is necessary. Although I have tried to retain all archaically spelled words.

The guide is split into three section:

Section 1

The original publication is given, even if only a private letter, before any later publications that either reprinted, reproduced or quoted the original publication in whole or in part. Publications are always listed in chronological order. The specific text of the publication is then given as accurately as I can currently muster. For some of these publications I will have something to say about them under the heading 'Discussion'. Finally, any errors by later authors that are known to the present author are pointed out. Thus I hope that this guide will serve many generations of future thylacine researchers, and anybody else whose area of interest overlaps with the present one.

Section 2

Some publications that have been supposed by later authors to refer to the thylacine have been rejected by the present author for various reasons that are made clear in the 'Discussion' under the respective publication.

Section 3

This third section functions as a synthesis of the first section, where the tabulation of the description of the species' morphology, physiology and behaviour is given.

 

Section 1. The literature

Section 1.1 Retrospective texts

Section 2. Rejected publications

Section 3. Tabulations

 

Tasman (1642)

Text:

the footprints of certain animals observed on the ground were not unlike the paws of a tyger; they also brought on board some excrement (Tasman, 1642:13)

They saw the footing of wild beasts having claws like a Tyger, and other beasts (Rembrantse, 1682:180; reconstructed from Paddle, 2000:3 & Mooney, 2014:37)

That on the ground they had observed certain footprints of animals, not unlike those of a tiger's claws; they also brought on board certain specimens of animals excrements voided by quadrupeds, so far as they could surmise and observe (Tasman, 1898,1965)

 

Publication:

Tasman, Abel Janszoon. (1642). Journal of a Voyage to the Unknown Southland in the Year 1642 (Herman Duyker, Trans.). In E. Dyker (ed.), The Discovery of Tasmania: journal extracts from the expeditions of Abel Janszoon Tasman and Marc-Joseph Marion Dufresne 1642 and 1772 (1992 ed., pp. 9-16). Hobart: St David's Park Publishing.

Tasman, Abel Janszoon. (1898). Abel Janszoon Tasman's Journal. Amsterdam: Frederik Muller and Co.

Tasman, Abel Janszoon. (1965). Abel Janszoon Tasman's Journal. Los Angeles: N. A. Kovach. [fascimile of Tasman, 1898]

Rembrantse, D. (1682). A short relation out of the journal of Captain Abel Jansen Tasman, upon the discovery of the South Terra incognita; not long since published in the Low Dutch. Philosophical Collections of the Royal Society of London (6): 179-186. [p. 180]

Walker, James Backhouse. (1902). Early Tasmania: Papers read before the Royal Society of Tasmania during the years 1888 to 1899. Hobart, Tasmania: John Vail, Government Printer.

Beresford, Quentin and Bailey, Gary. (1981). Search for the Tasmanian Tiger. Hobart, Tasmania: Blubber Head Press. 54 pp.

Paddle, Robert N. (2000). The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Oakleigh, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. x + 273 pp. [p. 3; quotes Rembrantse (1682) incompletely]

Paull, John. (2011). Environmental Management in Tasmania: Better off Dead?, pp. 153-168. In: Baldacchino, Godfrey and Niles, Daniel (eds.). Island Futures: Conservation and Development Across the Asia-Pacific Region (Global Environment Series). Tokyo, Japan: Springer.

Mooney, Nick. (2014). So Close and Yet So Far, pp. 37-49. In: Lang, Rebecca (ed.). The Tasmanian Tiger: Extinct or Extant? Hazelbrook, NSW: Strange Nation Publishing. 186 pp. [p. 37; quotes Rembrantse (1682) incompletely]

 

Discussion:

As noted by (Guiler & Godard, 1998:77; Mooney, 2014:37) the footprints found by Tasman's party almost certainly were those of a wombat. Though (Gell, 1845:324) states that they're from a kangaroo. Thus this publication should really be omitted from this section, even though some authors have accepted it at face value (e.g. Smith, 1981; Beresford & Bailey, 1981). However, I will make one exception since it embodies the many misunderstandings about the species in the centuries to come, that would ultimately lead to its probable extinction. And arguably still exist today.

 

Errors by other authors:

Dixon (1989) gives a different quote.

Other references

Dixon, Joan M. (1989). Thylacinidae, pp. 549-559. In: Walton, D. W. and Richardson, B. J. (eds.). Fauna of Australia. Vol. 1B. Mammalia. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. [incorrect quote: ‘footprints not ill-resembling the claws of a tiger’]

Gell, Rev. J. P. (1845). On the First Discovery of Tasmania, in the months of November and December, 1642. The Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, Agriculture, Statistics, &c. 2(10): 321-328.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp.

 

Roux (1772)

Text:

We have not seen any quadrupeds other than a little tiger [qu'un petit Tigre] which ran away when we pursued the savages in the woods (Jean Roux, 1772:42)

 

Publication:

Roux, Saint Jean. (1772). Journal of the voyage made on the King's ship, the Mascarin, commanded by M. Marion Knight of the Royal and Military Order of St Louis Fireship Captain accompanied by the ßute, the Marquis de Castries, commissioned to make a voyage to the island of Tahiti or Cythea and to explore the Southern Lands, thence proceeding to New Holland, to New Zealand etc .etc. (Maryse Duyker, Trans.). In E. Dyker (Ed.), The Discovery of Tasmania: journal extracts from the expeditions of Abel Janszoon Tasman and Marc-Joseph Marion Dufresne 1642 and 1772 (1992 ed., pp. 38-43). Hobart: St David's Park Publishing.

Paull, John. (2011). Environmental Management in Tasmania: Better off Dead?, pp. 153-168. In: Baldacchino, Godfrey and Niles, Daniel (eds.). Island Futures: Conservation and Development Across the Asia-Pacific Region (Global Environment Series). Tokyo, Japan: Springer.

 

Le Jar du Clesmeur (1772)

Text:

our people ...noticed the traces of quadrupeds in different places, some of which resembled deer and others dogs (Le Jar du Clesmeur, 1772:21)

 

Publication:

Le Jar du Clesmeur, A. B. M. (1772). Account of a Voyage in the South Seas and the Pacific beginning in 1771 (Maryse Duyker, Trans.). In E. Dyker (Ed.), The Discovery of Tasmania: journal extracts from the expeditions of Abel Janszoon Tasman and Marc-Joseph Marion Dufresne 1642 and 1772 (1992 ed., pp. 20-22). Hobart: St David's Park Publishing.

Paull, John. (2011). Environmental Management in Tasmania: Better off Dead?, pp. 153-168. In: Baldacchino, Godfrey and Niles, Daniel (eds.). Island Futures: Conservation and Development Across the Asia-Pacific Region (Global Environment Series). Tokyo, Japan: Springer.

 

Labillardière (1799) [1800?]

Text:

French original (1799)

[insert: original French of first English edition sentence below]

un gros chien [a big dog]... tacheté de noir [marked/streaked with black] (Labillardière, 1799:163)

English translation (1800)

found... the upper jaw-bone of a large animal of the carnivorous tribe... heard the cry of a beast of prey (Labillardière, 1800:114; Paddle, 2000:3)

a beast of prey... a quadruped the size of a large dog... of a white colour spotted with black (Labillardière, 1800:118-119)

 

Publication:

Labillardière, Jacques-Julien Houtou de. (1799 [1800?]). Relation du Voyage à la Recherche de la Pérouse. Paris: H. J. Jansen.

Labillardière, Jacques-Julien Houtou de. (1800). Voyage in Search of La Pérouse, 1791-1794... Tr. from the French. London: J. Stockdale.

Paddle, Robert N. (2000). The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Oakleigh, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. x + 273 pp.

 

Discussion:

Paddle (2000:3) gives the year of the original French as 1799, however it is listed as 1800 in the digitised version available online as hyperlinked to the French title.

 

Errors by other authors:

The English translation (Labillardière, 1800) of the original French has an earlier sighting in April 1792 when 'a few wild dogs were observed' (p. 94). However, as noted by (Paddle, 2000:14), in Neil Murray's opinion the original French 'quelques canards sauvages' (Labillardière, 1799:127) actually refers to 'a few wild ducks'. Likewise the French tacheté de noir was mistranslated as 'spotted with black'.

 

Harris (1804)

Text [incomplete?]:

If accounts from Port Jackson and some persons who have been here can be credited, a quadruped not quite so pleasant [as the kangaroo] to live in the neighbourhood of, is also an inhabitant of Van Diemen's Land — Traces of a Carnivorous Beast have been found in many parts, like a leopard or Panther, but I do not hear that any person belonging to the Settlement has seen the animal itself — Labillardiere in his Voyage in search of Perouse in 1792 Speaks of being ashore here & being disturbed by the Howlings of a Beast, that came pretty near them — That at another time a quadruped the size of a large Dog sprung from some Bushes — it was whitish Spotted with black — and in the woods they found a large upper Jaw and Vertebrae of an animal certainly carnivorous. I suspect however that it may be only a variety of the wild Dog, or rather wolf of this Country. (source)

 

Publication:

A private letter written by Harris on 12 February 1804.

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. 174 pp. [contains at least one sketch of the thylacine]

 

Discussion:

From Harris' description, 'whitish Spotted with black', it is clear that he is working with the English translation (1800) of Labillardière's original French (1799). It is unclear whether the people Harris mentions ('accounts from Port Jackson and some persons who have been here') are really any more familiar with the species than he is from having read Labillardière.

 

Knopwood (1805)

Text:

[18 June 1805] am engaged all the Morn upon business examining the 5 Prisoners that went into the Bush They informd me that on the 2 of May when they were in the wood they see a large Tyger that the Dog they had with them went nearly up to it and when the Tyger see the men which were about 100 yards from it, it went away. I make no doubt but here are many wild animals which we have not yet seen

 

Publication:

Rev. Robert Knopwood's personal diary is now in the Mitchell Library.

Lord, Clive Errol. (1927). Notes on the Diary of the Reverend Robert Knopwood, 1805-1808. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 61: 78-154.

Knopwood, Robert (1946). The diary of the Rev. Robert Knopwood, 1805-1808. pt.1. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania [1946]: 51-125.

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.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp.

 

Paterson (1805a)

Text:

Although the whole of the Natural productions of New Holland as well as the Islands Adjacent commencing with the Human Race and descending to the most Minute Animal, appear with Characters of perfect Contra-distinction to those of any other Country on the Globe, yet the Animal I am now on the point of describing is the most singular and certainly the only powerful of the Carniverous and Voracious Tribe hitherto discovered in this Austral part of the world.

He was killed by some dogs belonging to the Surgeon, immediately contiguous to the Settlement on a Hill which I have Named in the Chart Mount Albany.

It is very evident he is distructive and lives entirely on Animal Food, for on dissection I found the Stomach was filled with a Quantity of Kangaro Weighing Five Pounds, and the Weight of the whole Animal was Forty-five. From its internal Structure it must be a Brute of peculiarly quick digestion, and the parts of Generation (which I have preserved in spirits accompanying this) are of a most extraordinary formation.

Description of an hitherto unknown Animal killed the 30th March 1805 Mount Albany, Yorkton [York Town] Port Dalrymple.

Dimensions Female   Male  
  Feet Inches Feet Inches
From the nose to the Eye " "
The length of the Eye * " "
The Breadth of the Eye * " ¾ " ¾
From the Nose to the extent of the Mouth in the upper Jaw " " 6
Under the extent of the Mouth in the upper Jaw " " [?]
Breadth of the Forehead " 5⅛ "
From the Eye to the Ear " "

The Ear Round Diameter
" " 3
From the Ear to the Shoulder " 9 1 "
From the Shoulder to the first Stripe " 7 " 7
From the first Stripe to the extent of the Body 1 2 "
The Length of the Tail 1 3 1 8
The Length of the fore Leg   9 " 11
The Length of the fore Foot     5
The Fore foot with five blunt Claws         
Height of the Animal before 1 3 1 10

Stripes across the back Female 19 - Male 20, on a Tail Three, Two of the Stripes extend down each Thigh 
       

Stripes extend down each Thigh 
       
The length of the Hind leg from the Heel to the Thigh   7 1  
Length of the hind Foot   5   6

The hind foot with Four blunt claws 
       

 

The Body short hair and Smooth, of a Greyish Colour, the Stripes black.
The Hair on the Neck rather longer than that on the Body.
The Hair on the Ears of light brown Colour, in the inside rather long.
The Form of the Animal is that of the Hyena, at the same time strongly reminding the observer of the appearance of a low Wolf (dog).
The Lips appear not to Cover the Tusks.
* The Eye remarkably large and black.
The Testicles concealed in a Pouch between the hind legs, the Pouch in form nearly the same as that of the Female Kangaroo. 
 

The Sole of the Feet without Hair Female   Male  
  Feet In. Feet In.
On each side Mouth Nineteen Bristles, length of each " 4 " 4
Six Bristles on each side under the Ear. Nine Bristles on the lower Jaw on each sides, and Eight under the Throat,        
Eight Fore Teeth in the upper Jaw, and Six in the Under.        
Four Grinders of a Side, upper and lower Jaw - Three Single Teeth, upper and lower Jaw.        
Four Tusks or Canine length to the Tusk - each   1 " 1
Circumference of the Head before the Ears 1 3 1 6
Behind the Ears 1 1 5
Smallest part of the Neck 1 ½ 1 4
Circumference before the Shoulder 1 1 2 "

 

Publication:

Paterson, William. (1805a). Letter to Sir Joseph Banks, dated 20 March 1805. State Library of Western Australia (Series 27.33).

 

Discussion:

It is widely accepted that Paterson's male specimen was the first known thylacine to have been killed by European man. Particularly as this letter was later partially reproduced in abridged form in The Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser (Paterson, 1805b) and thus brought to a larger audience. However, it is conspicuous in its detailed and precise measurements for a female of the species also. This leads to several competing hypotheses about the origin of these measurements. The first and least likely is that they are an estimation only. The specificity of the biometric data presented makes this very unlikely. The second hypothesis is that a female was killed either contemporaneously with the male, or at a previous time. However, the lack of a mention of the female of the species beyond that table, including in the wider literature, makes this very unlikely. And especially so when we consider the evidence for the third hypothesis: a female was captured but either escaped or was released.

Sir Joseph Banks read out Harris' original description (Harris, 1807) to the Linnean Society of London prior to its official publication (Harris, 1808). As per my comments under (Harris, 1806), the fact that Banks possibly modified Harris' text to include a second male specimen killed that Harris (1806) was unaware of makes it unlikely that the female specimens mentioned by Paterson were killed (1805a), and refer to the thylacine (1805c), respectively. Thus the most likely conclusion is that a female was captured, probably the female companion of the male killed and hence contemporaneously so, and escaped or released after detailed measurements were taken. I am not too phased by the fact that Anonymous (1820) states of a female captured on 23 June 1820: "It is the first of the species that is known to have been taken alive".

 

Paterson (1805b)

Text:

An animal of a truly singular and nouvel description was killed by dogs the 30th of March on a hill immediately contiguous to the settlement at Yorkton Port Dalrymple ; from the following minute description of which, by Lieutenant Governor PATERSON, it must be considered of a species perfectly distinct from any of the animal creation hitherto known, and certainly the only powerful and terrific of the carniverous and voracious tribe yet discovered on any part of New Holland or its adjacent Islands.

It is very evident his species is destructive, and lives entirely on animal food ; as on dissection his stomach was found filled with a quantity of kangaroo, weighing 5lbs. the weight of the whole animal 45lbs. From its interior structure it must be a brute peculiarly quick of digestion ; the dimensions were, from the nose to the eye 4½ inches : length of the eye, which is remarkably large and black, 1¼ inches ; breadth of the eye ¾ of an inch ; from the nose to the extent of the mouth in the upper jaw, 6 inches ; and to the extent of the under jaw, 4½ inches ; breadth of the forehead, 5¾ inches ; from the eye to the ear, 3¾ inches ; the ear round, diameter 3 inches ; from the ear to the shoulder, 1 foot ; from the shoulder to the first stripe, 7 inches ; from the first stripe to the extent of the body, 2 feet ; length of the tail, 1 foot 8 inches ; length of the fore leg, 11 inches ; and of the fore foot, 5 inches ; the fore foot with 5 blunt claws ; height of the animal before, 1 foot 10 inches ; stripes across the back 20, on the tail 3 ; 2 of the stripes extend down each thigh ; length of the hind leg from the heel to the thigh, 1 foot ; length of the hind foot, 6 inches ; the hind foot with 4 blunt claws, and soles of the feet without hair ; on each side the mouth are 19 bristles, length of each 4 inches ; and 6 bristles on each side under the ear, 9 on the lower jaw upon each side, and 8 under the throat ; 8 fore teeth in the upper jaw, and 6 in the under ; 4 grinders of a side, in the upper and lower jaw ; 3 single teeth also in each ; 4 tusks, or canine teeth, length of each 1 inch : circumference of the head before the ears, 1 foot 6 inches, and behind the ears, 1 foot 5 inches ; smallest part of the neck, 1 foot 4 inches ; circumference before the shoulder, 2 feet ; the body short hair and smooth, of a greyish colour, the stripes black ; the hair on the neck rather longer than that on the body ; the hair on the ears of a light brown colour, on the inside rather long.—The form of the animal is that of the hyæna, at the same time strongly reminding the observer of the appearance of a low wolf dog. The lips do not appear to conceal the tusks.

 

Publication:

Paterson, William [Anonymous]. (1805b). ["An animal of a truly singular and nouvel description..."]. The Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser vol. 3, no. 112, Sunday, 21 April 1805, p. 3.

 

Discussion:

Waterhouse (1846) credits Harris as "the first to make this animal known" (p. 460), thus being unaware of this publication, and certainly unaware of Paterson (1805a). So does (M. 1839)

References

Waterhouse, George Robert. (1846). A Natural History of the Mammalia. Volume 1, containing the Order Marsupiata or pouched animals. London: Hippolyte Baillière. 553 pp + 20 pls.

 

Paterson (1805c)

Text:

The skin of a new animal which I sent to Sydney to be forwarded by the Governor to you will I hope arrive safe, since which I have procured a Female sent by this conveyance the Bones complete, and one of her young in spirits, with some other subjects of natural history. (p. 2)

 

Publication:

Paterson, William. (1805c). Letter to Sir Joseph Banks, dated 13 November 1805. State Library of New South Wales (Series 27.34).

 

Discussion:

Paterson does not explicitly state that this new animal is the thylacine, however it seems plausible to suggest that it is. But if this is the case, it seems hard to reconcile with the comment in (Harris, 1807,1808) that only two male specimens have been killed. As the mention of a second male killed, being unknown to (Harris, 1806) was evidently only added later by a different author, presumably Banks as he was the one who read the paper before the Linnean Society (Harris, 1807,1808).

 

Author? 1805?

Text:

See Discussion.

 

Publication:

See Discussion.

 

Discussion:

Guiler & Godard (1998:78): "A third reported sighting occurred in June 1805 on the banks of the Huon River".

I am not currently aware of the original source of the reported sighting.

Other references

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp.

 

Harris (1806a)

Text:

G. P. Harris to Sir Joseph Banks
Hobart Town, River Derwent,
Van Diemen's Land Augt. 31, 1806
Sir,

I take the liberty of transmitting to you drawings & descriptions from the life of two animals of the Genus Didelphus, natives of this Country, which I believe are in every respect new, at least I have [not] seen any description of either.
As I believe it is not uncommon for accounts of newly discovered animals to be communicated to the Royal & Linnean Societies If you, Sir, judge those sent worthy that Honor I shall by amply repaid for my labours -
I am now preparing a work for the press under the title "Illustrations of the Zoology of Van Diemen's Land" - comprising accurate coloured drawings - from life, of Birds, quadrupeds, Fish, Insects etc etc. many of which are nondescript. I have already completed 150 drawings, and had I not been disappointed in receiving paper & drawing materials from England should have submitted specimens of the work by this opportunity for your patronage.

I remain, Sir,
With the utmost respect
Your most obedient & very hble servt.
Geo: Prideaux Harris
Dty. Surveyor General, & one of
H.M. Justices of the Peace, for the
Island of Van Diemen's Land etc etc etc

P.S If there are any particular curiosities either in plants, animals etc which you would wish to receive from this country, I shall always feel a pride in executing the commands of Sir Joseph Banks - any communications to that effect, directed as above & left with my brother, H. B. Harris Esq. War Office will be duly forwarded. 

 

Publication:

Letter from George Prideaux Harris to Sir Joseph Banks, dated 31 August 1806.

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. 174 pp. [contains at least one sketch of the thylacine]

Partially reproduced by the Thylacine Museum website.

 

Errors by other authors:

The Thylacine Museum website quotes Harris as saying 'aspect' rather than 'respect'.

 

Harris (1806b)*

Publication:

Paper written by George Prideaux Harris, later sent to Sir Joseph Banks, along with a letter dated 31 August 1806 (see above entry).

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. 174 pp. [contains at least one sketch of the thylacine]

 

Discussion:

It is clear that at the time of writing this paper, Harris was unaware of the specimen or specimens killed in 1805 that were written about by Lieutenant Governor Paterson (Paterson, 1805a,b,c). This is contrary to Harris' later paper based upon this letter that was read by Sir Joseph Banks on 21 April 1807 (Harris, 1806) and eventually published in 1808 (Harris, 1808). Since Banks was also the recipient of the letters and specimens sent by Lt. Gov. Paterson, it is a reasonable assumption to make to infer that it was Banks himself who modified Harris' original letter by adding the mention of a second specimen killed (viz. Harris, 1807,1808). However, this calls into question the hypothesis that Paterson's (1805a) measurements for a female refer to a specimen killed prior to the letter's writing. And calls into question the otherwise plausible hypothesis that the female, with young in spirits, that Paterson (1805c) refers to in his letter actually refers to the thylacine.

 

Errors by other authors:

As noted by (Freeman, 2007), the research of Barbara Hamilton-Arnold has cast doubt on Harris' name including 'Robert'. The Thylacine Museum (5th revision) refers to him as George Prideaux Robert Harris.

References

Freeman, Carol J. (2007). 'In every respect new': European impressions of the thylacine, 1808-1855. reCollections 2(1): [unpaginated].

 

Harris (1807)*

Publication:

Same text as Harris (1808).

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp. [pp. 16-17]

 

Harris (1808)*

Image and text:

Didelphis cynocephala.

Didelphis fusco-flavescens supra postice nigro-fasciata, caudâ compressâ subtus lateribusque nudâ.

Tab. XIX. Fig. 1.

The length of this animal from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail is 5 feet 10 inches, of which the tail is about 2 feet. Height of the fore part at the shoulders 1 foot 10 inches—of the hind part 1 foot 11 inches. Head very large, bearing a near resemblance to the wolf or hyæna. Eyes large and full, black, with a nictitant membrane, which gives the animal a savage and malicious appearance. Ears rounded, erect, and covered with short hair. Black bristles about 2 inches long on the upper lips, cheeks, eyebrows, and chin. Mouth very large, and extending beyond the eyes. Cutting teeth small, obtuse, 8 in the upper jaw, and 6 in the lower. Canine teeth 2 in each jaw, strong, 1 inch long. Twelve molares in the upper jaw and 14 in the lower, of which the four hindmost are trifurcate. The legs are short and thick in proportion to the length of its body. Fore feet 5-toed, claws black, short, and blunt, with a callous naked heel. Hind feet 4-toed, claws short, covered by tufts of hair extending 1 inch beyond them, with a long

long callous heel, reaching to the knuckle. Tail much compressed, and tapering to a point, covered with short smooth hair on the upper part; sides and under part bare, as if worn by friction; not prehensile. Scrotum pendulous, but partly concealed in a small cavity or pouch in the abdomen. Penis projecting behind: glans forked.


The whole animal is covered with short smooth hair of a dusky yellowish brown, paler on the under parts, and inclining to blackish gray on the back. On the hind part of the back and rump are about 16 jet-black transverse stripes, broadest on the back, and gradually tapering downwards, two of which extend a considerable was down the thighs.

On dissecting this quadruped, nothing particular was observed in the formation of its viscera, &c., differing from others of its genus. The stomach contained the partly digested remains of a porcupine ant-eater, Myrmecophaga aculeata.

The history of this new and singular quadruped is at present but little known. Only two specimens (both males) have yet been taken. It inhabits amongst caverns and rocks in the deep and almost impenetrable glens in the neighbourhood of the highest mountainous parts of Van Diemen's Land, where it probably preys on the brush Kangaroo, and various small animals that abound in those places. That from which this description and the drawing accompanying it were taken, was caught in a trap baited with kangaroo flesh. It remained alive but a few hours, having received some internal hurt in securing it. It from time to time uttered a short guttural cry, and appeared exceedingly inactive and stupid; having, like the owl, an almost continual motion with the nictitant membrane of the eye.

It is vulgarly called the Zebra Opossum, Zebra Wolf, &c.

 

Publication:

Harris, George Prideaux. (1808). Description of two new species of Didelphis from Van Diemen's Land. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 9(1): 174-178.

1817

1817 (p. 747)

Long, George (ser. ed.). (1839). The Penny Cyclopædia. Vol. XIV: Limonia—Massachusetts. London: Charles Knight. [image only, p. 455]

M. (1839). The Dog-headed Opossum, pp. 418-420. In: The Visitor, or, Monthly Instructor For 1839. London: The Religious Tract Society. [partial quote only]

 

Errors by other authors:

Dixon (1989) reports Harris as having caught two males in the kangaroo-baited trap. Harris himself clearly states that only one animal was secured in this manner.

References

Dixon, Joan M. (1989). Thylacinidae, pp. 549-559. In: Walton, D. W. and Richardson, B. J. (eds.). Fauna of Australia. Vol. 1B. Mammalia. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.

 

Barrington (1810)

Text:

A species of the Hyena has lately been seen at Port Dalrymple, extremely fierce, having a very large mouth, strong sharp claws, and very strongly limbed. It is striped all over, and being of the Opossum kind, has also a false belly. This creature here does not attack human beings, but confines its ravages to sheep and poultry. (p. ?)

 

Publication:

Barrington, George. (1810). The History of New South Wales, including Botany Bay, Port Jackson, Parramatta, Sydney, and all its Dependancies, from the Original Discovery of the Island; with the Customs and Manners of the Natives; and an account of The English Colony from its Foundation to the Present Time. 2nd edition. London: Sherwood, Neely and Jones.

 

Discussion:

The allusion to Port Dalrymple presumably refers to the male killed in 1805 as reported by (Paterson, 1805a,b). However, the reported diet of sheep and poultry seems unprecedented. Indeed, according to (Paddle, 2000) the earliest reports of sheep and poultry predation are (Anonymous, 1817a) and (Mudie, 1829), respectively (Paddle, 2000:85,102). He thus seems unaware of this publication, a view corroborated by its absence from his book's bibliography. However, it is discussed by (Freeman, 2005:vol. 1).

Other references:

Freeman, Carol J. (2005). Figuring extinction: Visualizing the thylacine in zoological and natural history works 1808-1936. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Tasmania: Hobart, Australia.

 

Oxley (1810)

Text:

Quadrupeds and Birds.—The Quadrupeds and Feathered Tribes are the same as at the Derwent; both are free from that Account of the destructive animal to Sheep, the Native Dog, the dread of the settlement at Stock Holders in Ne w South Wales. The only Animal  known on the Continent is the Hysena Opossum, but even here Natural they are rarely seen, and I do not believe they have ever been seen at the Derwent. A n Accurate description of this Animal by Col. Paterson will be found in the Note*; it flies at the approach of Man , and has not been known to do any Mischief, though apparently well formed to be the destroyer of Weaker Animals.

 

* Marginal note.—" The animal when dead weighed 45 lbs. ; the dimensions were from the Nose to the Eye 4 1/2 Inches ; from the Eye to the Ear 3 3/4 I.; The Ear Round, the Eye large and Black ; from the Ear to the Shoulder 1 foot; from the Shoulder to the first stripe 7 I.; from the 1st stripe to the extent of the Body 2 feet; length of the Tail 1 ft. 8 I. Stripes across the Back 20 ; on the Tail 3 ; it had 4 Tusks or Canine Teeth, each 1 I. long; Circumference of the Head below the Ears 1 F. 6 I.; the Height of the Animal 1 F. 10 I.; the Hair on the body short and Smooth, of a greyish Colour; their Stripes Black ; the Hair on the Ears of a light brown Colour. The form of the Animal is that of the Hyaena, at the same time strongly reminding the observer of a low wolf dog; its stomach was found filled with Kangaroo, and from its Interior construction it must be peculiarly quick of digestion."

 

Publication:

Oxley, John. (1810). Account of the settlement of Port Dalrymple, 1810, pp. 758-773. In: Watson, F. (ed.). Historical Records of Australia, Series III. Despatches and Papers Relating to the Settlement of the States. Volume 1. (1921). Sydney: Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp.

 

Saint-Hilaire (1810)

Publication:

Saint-Hilaire, Étienne Geoffroy. (1810). Description de deux espèces de Dasyures (Dasyrus cynocephalus et Dasyurus ursinus). Annales du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris) 15: 301-306.

 

Discussion:

The scientific name is spelled in error.

 

Bullock (1812)

Text:

14. Zebra Opossum (Didelphis Cynocephala). This animal, which is the only one known in any collection, is a native of Van Diemen's Land, where it inhabits among the caverns and rocks in the high and almost impenetrable glens of the mountainous parts of that country: it is the largest carnivorous animal yet discovered in New Holland, measuring from the nose to the end of the tail five feet three inches; it is said to be extremely voracious, which will scarcely be doubted, when it is known that the one described in the ninth volume of the Linnæan Transactions, p. 179, had in its stomach the partly digested remains of the Porcupine Ant-eater; it is said to have a short guttural cry, and appeared exceedingly inactive and stupid. (p. 30-31)

 

Publication:

Bullock, William. (1812). A Companion to Mr. Bullock's London Museum and Pantherion ; containg a brief description of upward of fifteen thousand nayural and foreign curiosities, antiquities, and productions of the fine arts, Collected during Seventeen Years of arduous Research, and at an Expense of thirty thousand pounds ; And now open for Public Inspection in the Egyptian Temple, just erected for its reception, in Piccadilly, London, opposite the end of Bond-Street. London: Printed for the proprietor. xii + 136 pp. [p. 30-31]

Bullock, William. (1813). A companion to the London Museum and Pantherion : containing a brief description of upwards of fifteen thousand natural and foreign curiosities, antiquities, and productions of the fine arts now open for public inspection in the Egyptian Temple, Piccadilly, London. London: Printed for the proprietor by Whittingham and Rowland. xii + 151 pp. [p. 130-131]

Bullock, William. (1816). A companion to the London Museum and Pantherion, containing a brief description of upwards of fifteen thousand natural and foreign curiosities, antiquities, and productions of the fine arts now open for public inspection in the Egyptian Temple, Piccadilly, London. London: Printed for the proprietor by Whittingham and Rowland. xii + 140 pp. [p. 117-118]

 

Discussion:

The texts of the 1813 and 1816 versions differ from the 1812 text merely by the contraction of the genus (viz. D. versus Didelphis).

 

Anonymous (1817a)

Text:

NON-DESCRIPT ANIMAL. - A few weeks ago a male animal of the tyger species was killed on the premises of Edward Lord, Esq. at Orielton Park; it measured 6 feet 4 inches from the tip of the nose to the extremity of the tail. It was long a terror to the numerous flocks in that neighbourhood, and had at different times destroyed a number of sheep. It required the joint exertions of two dogs, and the stock-keeper, before it was killed. It is now stuffed and in a high state of preservation, and has been viewed by the curious from the adjacent districts. (p. 2)

 

A Derwent paper of April 5th contains the following:—A few weeks ago a male animal of the tyger species was killed on the premises of Edward Lord, Esq. at Orielton Park ; it measured 6 feet 4 inches from the tip of the nose to the extremity of the tail. It was long a terror to the numerous flocks in that neighbourhood, and had at different times destroyed a number of sheep. It required the joint exertions of two dogs, and the stock-keeper, before it was killed. It is now stuffed, and in a high state of preservation, and has been viewed by the curious from the adjacent districts. (p. 3)

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1817a). Non-descript animal. Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter, Saturday, 5 April, p. 2 |2|.

Anonymous. (1817b). ['A few weeks ago a male animal of the tyger species...']. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday, 17 May, p. 3.

 

Anonymous (1817b)

Text:

Last week a male animal of the same species of that which some time ago destroyed a number of sheep on the premises of E. LORD, Esq., at Orielton Park, made its appearance amongst the flock of Mr. G. W. EVANS, Deputy Surveyor General, at Bagdad ; it had at different times within a week killed thirty sheep. It was attacked by seven dogs, and made a stout resistance, till at length it was killed with an axe by the stock-keeper. — This quadruped is of the same dimensions as that killed at Orielton Park, strong limbed, of a light grey color, and has a mouth nearly resembling that of a fox, with black stripes across its back ; and is known in this Colony by the name of the dog-tiger. The skin has been preserved by Mr. Evans. (6 December, p. 2)

 

A male animal of the same species of that which some time ago destroyed a number of sheep on the premises of E. Lord, Esq. at Orielton Park, made its appearance amongst the flock of Mr. G. W. Evans, Deputy Surveyor General, at Bagdad ; it had at different times within a week killed thirty sheep. It was attacked by seven dogs, and made a stout resistance, till at length it was killed with an axe by the stock-keeper. This quadruped is of the same dimensions as that killed at Orielton Park ; strong limbed, of a light grey colour, and has a mouth nearly resembling that of a fox, with black stripes across its back, and is known in this Colony by the name of the dog-tiger. The skin has been preserved by Mr. Evans. (20 December, p. 2)

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1817c). [No title]. The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter, Saturday, 6 December, p. 2.

Anonymous. (1817d). [No title]. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday, 20 December, p. 2.

 

Cuvier (1817)

Text:

Le Dasyure à téte de chien. (Did. cynocephala.)

Harris., Soc. Lin., IX, xix.

Grand comme un chien (trois pieds et demi de long sans la queue qui en a près de deux), à queue comprimée, à pelage gris.

 

Google translation

Dasyure with dog's head. (Did. cynocephala.)

Harris., Soc. Lin., IX, xix.

Large as a dog (three and a half feet long without a tail that is close to two), with a compressed tail and a gray coat.

 

Publication:

Cuvier, Georges [Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier]. (1817). Le règne animal distribué d’aprés son organisation, pour servir de base a l’histoire
naturelle des animaux et d’introduction à l’anatomie compareé
. Tome 1: i-xxxvii, 1-540.— Paris. 

 

Desmoulins (1817)

Text:

Première Espèce. — Dasyure cynocéphale , Dasyurus cynocephalus , Geoffr.; Didelphis cynocephala , Harris, Trans. Soc. Linn., tom. 9, pl. 19; Dasyure à pelage brun jaunâtre, à croupe zébreée et à queue comprimée , Geoffr., Ann. du Mus.

La longueur totale de cet animal, que M. Harris a fait connoître le prmier , est de trois pieds dix pouces (anglais); sa queue de deux pieds; sa hauteur au train de devant dún pied dix pouces , et celle du train de derrière, dún pied onze pouces.

M. Geoffroy décrit ainsi cet animal, d'après M. Harris: Son poil est, en général, court, doux, tirant sur le brunjaune obscur, plus pâle en dessous, et d'un gris foncé sur le does : toute la croupe est couverte d'à peu près seize bandes transversales d'un noir de jais, parmi lesquelles il en est deux qui se prolongent sur les cuisses, et qui sont conséquemment plus longues que les autres. La queue n'est couverte d'un poil doux et court qu'à sa partie supérieure ; les poils des côtés et du dessous étoient usés dans l'individu observé par Harris , ce qui fait présumer qu'il étoit adulte. Cette queue n'étoit cependant pas prenante; elle étoit comprimée par les côtés, et terminée en pointe à son extrémité.

Le dasyure cynocéphale a deux molaires de moins que les autres, à la mâchoire supérieure, ce qui réduit à dix le nombre de ces dents.

Cet animal se tient dans les rochers sur le bord de la mer, et se retire dans les creux de ces rochers. La forme comprimée de sa queue pore M. Geoffroy à penser qu'il va pêcher dans les eaux de la mer. Celui qui a servi à la description de Harris, avoit été pris au piége. Lorsqu'il fut saisi, il poussa des cris courts, avec beaucorp de difficulté. Son estomac renfermoit un échidné.

 

Publication:

Desmoulins, Antoine. (1817). Dasyure, pp. 135-140. In: Nouv. Dict. Hist. Nat. Vol. IX. Paris. [p. 136-137]

 

Errors by other authors:

Fischer (1829) incorrectly attributes the authorship to Desmarest.

 

Lewin (c.1817)*

Image:

 

Sources:

https://www.utas.edu.au/library/exhibitions/thylacine/abject.html

http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/art/illustration/image_15.htm

 

Discussion:

The animal appears to be living on the top of a mountain, which is no doubt inspired by Harris' original description of it's habitat:

"It inhabits amongst caverns and rocks in the deep and almost impenetrable glens in the neighbourhood of the highest mountainous parts of Van Diemen's Land" (Harris, 1808:175)

 

Saint-Hilaire (1818)

Publication:

Saint-Hilaire, Étienne Geoffroy. (1818). Dasyure, pp. 506-511. In: Dictionnaire des sciences naturelles, dans lequel on traite méthodiquement des différens êtres de la nature, considérés soit en eux-mêmes, d'après l'état actuel de nos connoissances, soit relativement à l'utilité qu'en peuvent retirer la médecine, l'agriculture, le commerce et les artes. Suivi d'une biographie des plus célèbres naturalistes ... 

 

Wentworth (1819)

Text:

There is almost a perfect resemblance between the animal and vegetable kingdoms of this island and of New Holland. In their animal kingdoms in particular, there is scarcely any variation. The native dog, indeed, is unknown here; but there is an animal of the panther tribe in its stead, which, though not found in such numbers as the native dog is in New Holland, commits dreadful havoc among the flocks. It is true that its ravages are not so frequent; but when they happen they are more extensive. This animal is of considerable size, and has been known in some few instances, to measure six feet and a half from the tip of the nose to the extremity of the tail; still it is cowardly, and by no means formidable to man: unless, indeed, when taken by surprise, it invariably flies his approach. (p. 118-119)

 

Publication:

Wentworth, W. C. (1819). Statistical, Historical, and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales, and its Dependent Settlements in Van Diemen's Land: with a particular enumeration of the advantages which these colonies offer for emigration, and their superiority in many respects over those possessed by the United States of America. London: G. and W. B. Whittaker.

 

Anonymous (1820)

Text:

A young female Hyena Opossum was yesterday brought into the LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR; having been taken by a Government stock-keeper near Mount Wellington. It is the first of the species that is known to have been taken alive. (24 June, p. 2)

 

A young female hyena opossum has been lately brought in to the Lieutenant Governor, having been taken by a Government stock-keeper near Mount Wellington. It is the first of the species that is known to have been taken alive. (15 July, p. 2)

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1820). ["A young female Hyena Opossum"]. The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter, Saturday, 24 June. p. 2.

Anonymous. (1820). ["A young female hyena opossum"]. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday, 15 July, p. 2.

 

Cuvier (1820)

Publication:

Cuvier, Georges [Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier]. (1820). Prospectus. 11 pp. In: Temminck, Coenraad J. and Laugier, M. (Baron de Chartrouse), 1820-1839. Nouveau recueil de planches coloriées d’oiseaux, pour servir de suite et de complément aux planches enluminées de Buffon.— Paris.

K Schulze-Hagen and A Geus (eds), Joseph Wolf (1820-1899): Animal Painter, Basilisken Press, Marburg an der Lahn, 2000, p. 83.

 

Desmarest (1820)*

Image:

 

Publication:

Desmarest, Anselme Gaëtan. (1820). Mammalogie: ou description des espèces de mammifères, Supplement to Encyclopédie méthodique, vol. 1, Veuve Agasse, Paris, pp. 362-363, pl. 7. [Fischer (1829): possibly p. 262, 401; have to check]

 

Jeffreys (1820)

Publication:

Jeffreys, C. H. (1820). Geographical and Descriptive Delineations of the Island of Van Diemen's Land. London: Richardson.

 

Anonymous (1821a)

Text:

"A very large Hyena has lately been killed on the farm of Mr. E. Abbott, jun. at the River Plenty."

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1821). ["A very large Hyena"]. Supplement to the Hobart Town Gazette. Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser, Saturday, 27 January, p. 2.

 

Anonymous (1821b)

Text:

"NATIVE TYGER, OR HYENA.—On Sunday last, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, as one of the shepherds belonging to Mr. Edward Abbott, jun. was looking after his master's flock, while grazing at his farm, at Russell's Falls, near New Norfolk, the sheep were suddenly frightened at the sight of one of these ferocious animals. They immediately ran down a hill; and the man, having a dog with him, soon perceived the Hyena pursuing the flock right a-head, when he made a sudden spring among the sheep, and fastened upon a lamb, which he immediately killed. The man then ran up with his dog; but the Tyger made off before he could reach the spot: the dog however shortly after came up with the Hyena, when he turned round and attacked the dog, who, with the assistance of his master, at last managed to kill him. The lamb was rather large, about 6 months old. The Tyger measured 6 feet from the nose to the extremity of the tail ; and is the second one that has been killed on nearly the same spot within these last twelve months."

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1821). Native Tyger, or Hyena. Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser, Saturday, 3 November, p. 2.

 

Bertuch (1821)

Image:

 

Publication:

Bertuch, F. J. (1821). Bilderbuch für Kinder: Enthaltend eine Angenehme Sammlung von Thieren, Pflanzen, Blumen, Früchten ..., vol. 10, Verlage de Landes-Industrie-Comptoires, Weimar, 1821, [n.p.].

 

Desmarest (1822)

Publication:

Desmarest, Anselme Gaëtan. (1822). Encyclopédie Méthodique: Mammalogie, ou Description des espèces des Mammifères. Paris: Agasse.

 

Evans (1822)

Text:

"The wild animals consist of the kangaroo, the emu, the opossum, the squirrel, the bandycoot, the kangaroo-rat, and the opossum-hyena : but few of the latter have been seen. It is remarked by Mr. Wentworth that, in the animal kingdom, there is scarcely any variation between this island and New Holland. The native dog, indeed, he observes, is unknown here ; but there is an animal of the panther tribe in its stead, which, though not found in such numbers as the native dog is in New Holland, commits dreadful havoc among the flocks. It is true that its ravages are not so frequent ; but, when they happen, they are more extensive. This animal is of a considerable size, and has been known, in some few instances, to measure six feet and a half from the tip of the nose to the extremity of the tail. Still it is cowardly, and by no means formidable to man : indeed, unless when taken by surprize, it invariably flees from his approach." (p. 56-57)

 

Publication:

Evans, George William. (1822). A Geographical, Historical, and Topographical Description of Van Diemen's Land, with Important Hints to Emigrants, and Useful Information Respecting the Application for Grants of Land ; Together with a List of the Most Necessary Articles for Persons to Take Out. Embellished by a Correct View of Hobart Town ; also, a Large Chart of the Island, Thirty Inches by twenty-four, with the Soundings of the Harbours and RIvers, and in which the Various Grants of Land are Accurately Laid Down. London: John Souter.

 

Anonymous (1823)

Text:

"A few nights ago, a hyena tiger, an animal so rarely seen in this Colony, but of the largest size, was found in the sheep-fold of G. W. Gunning, Esq. J. P. Coal River. Four kangaroo dogs, which were thrown in upon him, refused to fight, and he had seized a lamb, when a small terrier of the Scotch breed was put in and instantly seized the animal, and, after a severe fight, to the astonishment of every one present, the terrier succeeded in killing his adversary."

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1823). ["A few nights ago, a hyena tiger"]. Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser, Saturday, 2 August, p. 2.

 

Author? (1823)

Publication:

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=jfwNAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA879&dq=Didelphis+cynocephala&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjpkOKAxuTkAhWLV30KHVLaBl84oAEQ6AEINjAC#v=onepage&q=Didelphis%20cynocephala&f=false (p. 879)

 

Author? (1824)

Publication:

Bulletin des sciences naturelles et de géologie - Volumes 3-4 - Page 92

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=thMgAQAAMAAJ&q=Didelphis+cynocephala&dq=Didelphis+cynocephala&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjpkOKAxuTkAhWLV30KHVLaBl84oAEQ6AEIUzAG

 

Desmoulins (1824)

Publication:

Desmoulins, Antoine. (1824). Dasyure, pp. 337-340. In: Dict. Hist. Nat. Vol. V. Paris. [p. 338]

 

Lycett (1824)

Publication:

Lycett, T. (1824). Views in Australia. London: J. Souter.

 

Temminck (1824)

Text:

Translation by Dr. Stephen Sleightholme, sourced via the Thylacine Museum website

Harris who first described this animal appears to have been determined to bring it closer to the family of dogs by classifying it under the name of Cynocéphale, in the kind of Didelphis, where one joined together almost without any regard to their very disparate teeth, all marsupial animals discovered and described at that time. One can conclude, according to the little that Harris imparts to us on the teeth of the animal that he examined and counted those. However, he or those charged to publish his manuscript made a serious fault, since it enumerates the number of molars to the upper jaw as 6 on each row or 12 in total contrary to the fact that one finds 7 molars everywhere in the 2 jaws and that the total number of death teeth is 4 more than the true Dasyurids. It is more than probable that Harris gave the indication of the dental system of a juvenile animal but in this case should have made mention of it.

[...?]

By comparing the cranium of this animal with those of dogs one must agree at first glance the resemblance seems striking but is easy to see that on the whole they are completely different in a way very marked by the form and the number of teeth. It is true, that the lengthened shape of the muzzle and strong conical curved canines give the head of this animal a resemblance to that of dog's but one can still notice that independently of the disparity of the teeth, the zygomatics are much more strongly arched than in any species of dog. The thylacine also differs from the true Dasyurids with which it was joined not only by the number of true molars but by the lower form of those on the jaw, size and force of the canines, the length of the muzzle (and cranial changes) which results in forward placement of the eyes whereas true Dasyurids have eyes on the sides of their head. The tail of the thylacine differs primarily from that of all Dasyurids, the nudity of the point, the compressed form, and a little widened of root of the end of the tail would seem to indicate as Mr. Geoffroy has remarked that the thylacine swims with facility.

This animal, largest of the marsupial carnivores is to be judged by some by the naked lower part of the heel; it appears that it is accustomed to often supporting all the plant of the posterior feet. The sexual organs are very remarkable. The penis is located as in the other marsupials behind the scrotum. It is long (5 inches and 3 lines) and its nipple is forked. The scrotum, instead of being attached by a thin pedicle appears to be received in a small bag stripped of hairs and located between the thighs; the scrotum is covered with a tightened fur that is short and reddish in colour except below where the skin is naked. Having seen only three adult males and a juvenile of the same sex, it has not been possible as yet for me to check for the existence of a marsupium in the females but to judge by the conformation of the males one must conclude that the females have a pouch similar to that of all of the animals with which thylacine can be compared. The adult thylacine has the shape of a young wolf, long narrow muzzle with a broad head, broad rounded ears, eyes set directly above the narrow muzzle, a tail of average length which is both round and blunt and shorter than the body. The fur is smooth, short, hard and absolutely deprived of woolly hairs. The hairs of the top of the head and neck are the longest, those of the back tightened and those of the lower parts finer than the remained of the pelt. The dominant colour on the higher parts is a yellowish brown with a hint of olive, more or less dotted with black, according to whether the fine points of the hairs are colourd black or yellow. The black dominates over the chamfer, on the top of the head and with the shoulders, and the yellowish one on the cheeks, and in the intervals of the black bands. On the back and towards the base of the tail are sixteen transverse black bands of a perfect black. They are distributed so that the first is born from behind the shoulders and the last two cover the base of the tail.

The first three or four bands are narrow and short and those that follow have a greater extent; they go down on the sides and the thighs. All these transverse bands are more or less joined together on the average line of the back by a longitudinal band. The lower jaw is lighter. The lower part of the neck, chest, internal thighs and belly are ashy and take on a darker colour towards the anus; all the area of the scrotum is reddish. The toes of the feet are hidden under a long and hard hair of a yellowish white, there are five toes on the front limbs and four on the hind limbs, all armed with strong blunt nails. The whole of the shape of this animal offers to the first glance of many a relationship with wolves, but it is more closely related to the family of Dasyures. The shape of the tail is singular; initially round at the base, becoming compressed in the middle, and blunt by the end. It is well provided with hairs to the base, naked in the medium, especially in top, and finished by a small brush of long and hard hairs. The zygomatics are isolated and the muzzle arched and compressed with large nostrils. The juveniles have the same fur colouration as the adults but their fur is a little longer and less smooth. The distribution of black bands is absolutely the same. I did not have the occasion to see the cranium of the juvenile but I examined two damaged skins of young animals, which has enabled me to comment on their colouration. Dimensions of the individuals whose skull is illustrated (see page 21) are overall length 5 feet 2 inches 5 lines (158.53cm); the tail 1 foot 7 inches 2 lines (48.68cm); head 8 inches 11 lines (22.63cm); distance from edge of eye to nose 4 inches 6 lines (11.42cm); height of the ears 3 inches 6 lines (8.88cm); height of the body to the shoulders 1 foot 4 inches 7 lines (42.11cm). A second individual offers in overall length about 6 feet, and all other corresponding dimensions in proportion. The animal was discovered in Van Diemen's Land in the parts mountainous and not very accessible from the southernmost ground. It has been said that the species has since been found throughout Tasmania. Harris states that the animal lives in the mountains, meadows and the edge of the sea and takes refuge in caves. It is carnivorous feeding on echidnas, wallaby and kangaroo. The natural history of this marsupial carnivore has not yet been studied but they deserve special attention from the naturalists who will visit Tasmania. Two individuals of a perfect conservation and strong size form part of the museum of the Bas countries, a third, less large is in the museum of the Linnean Society in London, and a fourth in the cabinet of M. Brocks. The two skulls of the museum of the Pay Bas were removed from the two subjects mentioned above.

 

Publication:

Temminck, Coenraad Jacob. (1824). Sur le genre Sarigue - Didelphis (Linn.). and Sur les mammifères du genre Dasyure, et sur deux genres voisins, les Thylacynes et les Phascogales, pp. 21-54, pls. 5-6 and pp. 55-72, pls. 7-8 in Temminck, Coenraad J. (1824-1827). Monographies de Mammalogie, ou description de quelques genres de mammifères dont les espèces ont été observées dans lens différens musées de l'Europe. Ouvrage accompagné de planches d'Ostéologie, pouvant servir de suite et de complément aux notices sur les animaux vivans, publiées par M. le Baron G. Cuvier, dans ses recherches sur les ossemens fossiles. Paris: G. Dufour et E. D'Ocagne Tom. 1 [23, 60].

 

 

Author? (1825)

Text [incomplete]:

Le genre Thylacine, Thylacinus, ne contenant que le Didelphis cynocephala de Harris, Dasyurus cynocephalus Geoff. (mamm. 401), est aussi rapproché des carnassiers proprement dits que les phascogales le sont des mammifères insectivores. Il a 46

 

Publication:

Bulletin des sciences naturelles et de géologie, p. 92

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=nOkEAAAAQAAJ&q=Didelphis+cynocephala&dq=Didelphis+cynocephala&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjpkOKAxuTkAhWLV30KHVLaBl84oAEQ6AEIRDAE

 

Cuvier (1825)*

Image:

 

Publication:

https://stors.tas.gov.au/AUTAS001127111508w800

 

Field (1825)

Text:

Hyæna opossum............Thylacinus cynocephalus.

 

Publication:

Field, Barron (ed.). (1825). Geographical Memoirs on New South Wales... London: John Murray.

 

Gray (1825)

Publication:

Gray, Annals of Philosophy, for November, 1825, vol. x. of New Series, p. 340 or 344.

 

Discussion:

Iredale, Tom and Troughton, Ellis Le Geyt. (1934). A check-list of the mammals recorded from Australia. Mem. Aust. Mus. 6: i-xii, 1-122.

 

Amos (1826)

Text [incomplete?]:

tigers are plentifull amongst the rocky mountains and destroy many sheep and lambs.

 

Publication:

Letter from Adam Amos (Oyster Bay), dated 20 April 1826.

Barrett, Charles. (1944). Isle of Mountains: Roaming Through Tasmania. Melbourne: Cassell & Company. [p. 132]

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 69]

 

Anonymous (1826a)

Text:

Hyœna opossum .... Thylacinus. Cynocephalus

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1826). A Glossary of the most common Productions in the Natural History of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday, 28 January, p. 3.

 

Discussion:

The second earliest usage of the binomial Thylacinus cynocephalus that I am aware of after (Field, 1825).

 

Anonymous (1826b)

Text:

"NATIVE TYGER OR HYENA.— One of these ferocious looking animals, which, in appearance, much resemble a tyger about the body, and wolf about the head, was a few days since killed by some sheep dogs on the farm of Mr. Nairne, at the Coal River.— When it was opened, two young lambs were found in its inside, apparently not long been devoured. It was remarkable fat and large; and is now lying at the Stores of Mr. Bethune, at the Wharf. We never before understood that these species of animals (male and female), are in a certain respect formed by nature similar to the kangaroo. The females bring forth their young in the same manner, and have also a false belly, in which they for some short time carry their progeny. Although these animals are by far less numerous than the native dog in New South Wales, if the increase of them is not stopped in time, they may become formidable. We would suggest, then, that a reward of some description should be given by the Government to pay every one who shall destroy and bring into town a native tyger or hyena."

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1826). Native Tyger or Hyena. The Australian (Sydney), Wednesday, 22 November, p. 2 |3|.

 

Anonymous (1826c)

Text:

"One of those animals called native Hyenas, so nearly allied to the fox or wolf, was killed lately on the farm of Mr. Edward Abbots at Russel's Fall's, when 4 young ones were found sheltered in its abdominal pouch. They are alive and healthy but show but little symptoms of domestication."

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1826). St. Andrew's Club. Hobart Town Gazette, Saturday, 2 December, p. 2-3. [female thylacine killed, trying to raise the four joeys; Edward Abbott is first known person to have kept the species]

 

Mulder (1826)

Publication:

Mulder, G. J. (1826). Over eenige verfchijnfelen, bij de ontploffing van Buskruid waar te nemen. Bijdragen tot de natuurkundige wetenschappen 1: 18-26.

 

Cunningham (1827)

Text:

The dog-faced dasyurus is the size of a wolf.

 

Publication:

Cunningham, P. (1827). Two Years in New South Wales; a Series of Letters, comprising Sketches of the actual State of Society in that Colony; of its peculiar Advantages to Emigrants; of its Topography, Natural History, &c. &c., pp. 219-244. In: The Westminster Review. Volume VIII. London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy. [p. 229]

 

Discussion:

This extremely terse description of the species contains the earliest known usage of 'dog-faced dasyurus' currently known to the present author.

 

Curr (1827-1839)

Curr, Edward Micklethwaite (1827-1839), Archives Office of Tasmania.

 

Griffith, Smith & Pidgeon (1827a)

Text:

The Dog-headed Dasyurus, (Did. Cynocephala,) Harris,
Soc. Lin. IX. xix.

As large as a dog (three feet and a half long without the tail, which is nearly two,) tail compressed; gray fur. (p. 67)

 

Publication:

Griffith, Edward, Smith, Charles Hamilton and Pidgeon, Edward. (1827a). The Animal Kingdom...Volume II. The Class Mammalia. London: Geo B. Whittaker. [p. 67]

 

Errors by other authors:

Guiler & Godard (1998:86) reproduce the image of an open book which concerns the thylacine, which they claim two pages later (p. 88) is from this publication, but evidently it is not. Freeman (2005: vol. 2, 6) attributes it to (Cuvier, 1829), which is almost certainly right as the pagination on the left page of the reproduced image clearly shows the page as 36. However, I have not yet viewed a copy of that publication myself.

References

Freeman, Carol J. (2005b). Figuring extinction: Visualizing the thylacine in zoological and natural history works 1808-1936. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Tasmania: Hobart, Australia.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp.

 

Griffith, Smith & Pidgeon (1827b)

Text:

492. 1. Das. Cynocephalus (the Dog-faced Dasyurus.)
Yellowish-brown, crupper marked with transverse black bands; tail compressed. Size of a wolf.
Didelphis Cynocephala, Harris, Transactions of the Lin. Soc. vol. IX. Dasyurus Cynocephalus, Geoff. Ann. Mus. xv.
Thylacinus Harrisii, Tem. Monog. 63.
Icon. Lin. Trans. ix. t. 19.
Inhabits Van Diemen's Land.
Mr. Brooks, it is understood, proposed to make this species a type of a new genus, to be named Paracyon. M. Temminck has since done so, and applied to it the name Thylacynus.

 

Publication:

Griffith, Edward, Smith, Charles Hamilton and Pidgeon, Edward. (1827b). The Animal Kingdom...Volume V. The Class Mammalia. London: Geo B. Whittaker. [p. 192]

 

Errors by other authors:

Guiler & Godard (1998:86) reproduce the image of an open book which concerns the thylacine, which they claim two pages later (p. 88) is from this publication, but evidently it is not. Freeman (2005: vol. 2, 6) attributes it to (Cuvier, 1829), which is almost certainly right as the pagination on the left page of the reproduced image clearly shows the page as 36. However, I have not yet viewed a copy of that publication myself.

References

Freeman, Carol J. (2005b). Figuring extinction: Visualizing the thylacine in zoological and natural history works 1808-1936. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Tasmania: Hobart, Australia.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp.

 

Lesson (1827)

Publication:

Lesson, René Primevère. (1827). Manuel de Mammalogie, ou histoire naturelle des mammiferes. Paris: J. B. Bailliere.

 

Schinz (1827)

Image:

 

Publication:

Schinz, H. R. (1827). Naturgeschichte und Abbildungen de Saugethiere.  Zurich: Brodtmanns Lithographischer Kunstanstalt, 1824-1827. (Plates published 1827).

 

Temminck (1827)

Publication:

Temminck, Coenraad J. (1827). Tableau méthodique des mammifères, répartis en ordres, genres et sections, avec une énumération approximative des espèces comprises dans les groupes, suivant le relevé le plus récent dans cette classe du règne animal. and Table des chapitres du premier volume. pp. xiii-xxxii and pp. 266-268 in Temminck, Coenraad J. (1824-1827). Monographies de Mammalogie, ou description de quelques genres de mammifères dont les espèces ont été observées dans lens différens musées de l'Europe. Ouvrage accompagné de planches d'Ostéologie, pouvant servir de suite et de complément aux notices sur les animaux vivans, publiées par M. le Baron G. Cuvier, dans ses recherches sur les ossemens fossiles. Paris: G. Dufour et E. D'Ocagne Tom. 1 [xxii, 267].

 

Hobler (1828)

Text [incomplete]:

"many [sheep] has he destroyed no doubt"

 

Publciation:

Hobler, George. Diary entry for 1828 (April or later)

 

Discussion:

See (Paddle, 2000:107-108)

 

Meredith (1828?)

Meredith, George. Unpublished papers, possibly dating to 1828

 

Discussion:

See (Paddle, 2000:108)

 

Anonymous (1829)

Text:

144. Harris's Opossum.............. Van Diemen's Land.

Thylacinus cynocephalus

Thylacinus Harrisii. Temm.

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1829). Catalogue of the Animals Preserved in the Museum of the Zoological Society, September 1829. London: Richard Taylor. 40 pp. [p. 11]

 

 

Cuvier (1829a)

Image and Text [incomplete]:

 

The Dog-Faced or Zebrine Dasyurus, is a singular looking animal, by no means pretty. The fur is short and soft; the ground colour of which is a dirty yellowish-brown, lighter on the belly, and of a deep gray about the back. From the insertion of the tail, along the spine, to about one half its length, there are equi-distant transverse stripes, longest on the thighs, and becoming gradually...[incomplete, end of p. 36, missing p. 37]

 

Publication:

Cuvier, Georges [Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier]. (1829a). The Animal Kingdom... vol. 3. London: Geo B. Whittaker. [pp. 36-37]

 

Errors by other authors:

Guiler & Godard (1998:86) reproduce the image of an open book which concerns the thylacine, which they claim two pages later (p. 88) is from Cuvier (1827), but evidently it is not. Freeman (2005: vol. 2, 6) attributes it to Cuvier (1829), which is almost certainly right as the pagination on the left page of the reproduced image clearly shows the page as 36. However, I have not yet viewed a copy of this publication myself.

References

Freeman, Carol J. (2005b). Figuring extinction: Visualizing the thylacine in zoological and natural history works 1808-1936. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Tasmania: Hobart, Australia.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp.

 

Cuvier (1829b)

Publication:

Cuvier, Georges [Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier]. (1829b). Le règne animal distribué d'après son organisation,: pour servir de base à l ... Paris.                          

 

Fischer (1829)

Text:

69. THYLACINUS. *)
Dentes Prim. 4-4/3-3 aequales diastemate medio discreti: exterior utrinque utrinsecus validissimus. Lan. 1-1/1-1, magni, validi, curvi, acuti. Mol. 7-7/7-7: antici 2 utrinque utrinsecus spurii; reliqui tritorii trituberculati (sectoriis Canum Feliumque similes).

Caput latum triangulum. Rostrum elongatum, rhinario instructum. Oculi laterales. Auriculae rotundatae. Pedes distincti fissi; antipedes 5-dactyli, scelides 4-dactylae. Unques falculares. Mastotheca? Cauda mediocris, apice compressa.

1. Th. cynocephalus. Th. Harrisii Temm. Monogr. p. 63. t. 7. f. 1. — 4 (cran.). Didelphis cynocephala Harris Descript. of 2 new species of Didlphys in Linn. Trans. IV. p. 174. t. 19. f. 1. Dasyurus cynocephalus Geoffr. in Ann. du Mus. XV. p. 304 et 306. 1. — Dict. des Sc. nat. XII p. 510. 1. Desmar. in Nouv. Dict. IX. p. 136. 1. — Mamm. p. 262. 401. Desmoul. in Nouv. Dict. d'h. n. V. p. 338. 1. Dasyure cynocéphale Cuv. Règn. an. I. p. 175.

Magnitudo lupi junioris. Longit. tota 5 ped. 2 poll. 5 lin. — 6 ped.; caudae 1 ped. 7 poll. 2 lin., capitis 8 poll. 11 lin., auricularum 3 1/2 poll.; altitudo stethiaei 1 ped. 4 poll. 7 lin., uraei 1 ped. 5 poll. 7 lin. Vellus molle, breve, fusco-flavicans, subtus pallidius; dorsum saturate cinereum, postice fasciis circiter 16 transversis nigris. Cauda subtus lateribusque nuda.

In cavernis rupium prope mare terram Van Diemen alluentis.

 

*) Thylacinus Temm. Didelphys spec. Harris. Dasyuri speci. Geoffr. et Al. Peracyon Gray?

 

Publication:

Fischer, Johann Baptist. (1829). Synopsis Mammalium. Stuttgard: J. G. Cottae. [p. 270]

 

Lawrence (1829-1831)

Lawrence, R. W. Diary, Journal and Notebooks, 1829-1833. [Paddle, 2000:109]

 

Mudie (1829)

Text:

The Australian animals that may strictly speaking be considered as wild beasts, that is, as subsisting on animal food, form a genus which is peculiar to Australia, and to which, in consequence of their rough appearance, the name of dasyuris has been given. They have vulgarly been called bears, wolves, hyænas, tigers, and even devils, according to the fancy of those by whom they have been seen. There is much the same confusion in the printed accounts of this genus as in other genera of New Holland ; and it is impossible to say whether different writers may or may not allude to the same animal when they use different names, or to different animals when they use the same one.

Of dasyuri there seem to be two species, about the size of pretty large dogs, which are savage in their dispositions, voracious in their appetites, and disposed to prey upon smaller animals, as well as to gorge themselves upon putrid remains of seals and fish, as well as land animals. Those two species are generally represented as being confined to Van Diemen's Land as the native dog is to New Holland, though some of the accounts mention that one of them has been found in the country westward of the Blue Mountains, where it has ridiculously enough got the name of the cat : and one recent writer has armed it with retractile claws, in order to make it quite a mouser. No tolerable description of a specimen found in this locality has been published: and therefore the probability is, that it may have been one of the smaller dasyuri, which the colonists sometimes style polecats, or weasels; and as for the retractile claws of the cat, it may be presumed to have just as much title to them as another of the genus, to which it is represented as belonging, has to the appellation of the devil.

The dog-faced dasyuris (cynocephalus) is an animal about the size of a wolf, strongly made, with sharp and crooked claws on the feet, the fur not very long, except on the cheeks and under the ears, and the tail compressed and pointed. The tail is long and tapering; the ears resemble those of the bear much more than those of the dog; the upper lip is whiskered with a few scattered, but very strong bristles, and the whole expression of the animal is disagreeable. The ground colour is a dull brownish yellow, with darker stripes across the back, like the marking of the zebra; and hence this animal has got the name of zeberine. Among the colonists, it is generally called the hyæna, or the hyæna-opossum, though it has not the slightest resemblance to the one or the other of these animals ; and some naturalists have referred it to a separate genus, under the name of thylacinus cynocephalus. It is found on the sea shore, where it preys upon the remains of animals, and probably also swims after fish. It is also found in the inland parts of Van Diemen's Land, and often commits depredations upon the lambs at the sheep farms, and sometimes too upon the poultry yards, though it is a solitary animal, and does not approach the thickly settled parts of the country.

The female is understood to produce five or six in a litter; and the teats are said to be partly within the abdominal pouch, and partly exposed; so that of all the marsupiata, this, and, indeed, the genus to which we have classed it, makes the nearest approach to the mammalia of other countries. (p. 174-176)

 

Publication:

Mudie, R. (1829). The picture of Australia: exhibiting New Holland, Van Diemen’s Land and all the settlements from the first at Sydney to the last at Swan River. London: Whittaker, Treacher. 370 pp.

 

Scott (1829)

Text:

"The Retreat.— The country from Westbury to the ford of the Meander, a distance of about 10 miles, is known by the name of the Retreat. It is in general a level country, agreeably varied by gentle rises, moderately wooded. At 3 miles from Westbury the Van Diemen's land Company have a hut and occupy a large tract of ground rented from Government for the purpose of grazing a numerous flock of fine woolled sheep. Three miles farther is the grazing farm of Mr. Butler, Solicitor, Hobart-town. lt is beautifully situated on the south side of the Meander and is grazed by the flocks of the Van Diemen's land Company. Considerable numbers of the native hyena prowl from the mountains near this in quest of prey among the flocks at night. The shepherd is therefore obliged during the lambing season either to watch his flocks during the night or to enclose them in a fold. One of these animals had just been caught before the party passed. It measured 6 feet from the snout to the tail. The skin is beautifully striped with black and white on the back, while the belly and sides are of a grey colour. Its mouth resembles that of a wolf, with huge jaws almost opening to the ears, its legs are short in proportion to the body, and it has a sluggish appearance, but in running it bounds in the manner of a kangaroo, though not with such speed. The female carries its young in a pouch like most other quadrupeds of the country. The skins are certainly beautiful, being well adapted for saddle cloths, and until the horse guards at Whitehall are more decently caparisoned by their help, our military in Van Diemen's will doubtless adopt them and add to their warlike appearance on field days." (Scott, 1829: 2-3)

 

The Australian (Sydney) version:

"In quotations from an itinerary of Van Diemen's Land now preparing for publication, the Hobart Town Courier describes the native hyena as appearing in considerable numbers in the interior of the island, ready to prowl from the mountains amongst the flocks at night. We have no such animal here, nor any approaching them in ferocity, the native dog excepted. One of these hyenas (the Courier says) measured six feet from the snout to the tail, and adds, the skin is beautifully striped with black and white on the back, while the belly and sides are of a grey colour. - Its mouth resembles that of a wolf, with huge jaws almost opening to the ears. Its legs are short in proportion to the body, and it has a sluggish appearance, but in running it bounds in the manner of a kangaroo, though not with such speed. The female carries its young in a pouch like most other quadrupeds of the country. The skins are certainly beautiful, being well adapted for saddle cloths, and until the horse guards at Whitehall are more decently caparisoned by their help, our military in Van Diemen's land will doubtless adopt them and add to their warlike appearance on field days." (Anonymous, 1829: 3-4)

 

1927 version:

"The country from Westbury to the ford of the Meander, a distance of about 10 miles, is known by the name of The Retreat. It is, in general, a level country, agreeably varied by gentle rises, moderately wooded. At three miles from Westbury the Van Diemen's Land Company have a hut, and occupy a large tract of ground, rented from Government, for the purpose of grazing a numerous flook of fine-woolled sheep. Three miles farther is the grazing farm of Mr. Butler, solicitor, Hobart Town. It is beautifully situated on the south side of the Meander, and is grazed by the flocks of the Van Diemen's Land Company. Considerable numbers of the native hyena prowl from the mountains near this, in quest of prey among the flocks at night. The shepherd is therefore obliged, during the lambing season, either to watch his flocks during the night or to enclose them in a fold. One of these animals had just been caught before the party passed. It measured six feet from the snout to the tail. The skin is beautifully striped, with black and white on the back, while the belly and sides are of a grey colour. Its mouth resembles that of a wolf, with huge jaws, opening almost to the ears. Its legs are short in proportion to the body, and it has a sluggish appearance, but in running it bounds like a kangaroo, though not with such speed. The female carries its Young in a pouch, like most other quadrupeds of the country."

 

Publication:

Scott, Thomas. (1829). From the descriptive itinerary of Van Diemen's Land, now preparing for publication. —Excursion of his Excellency to the west. Hobart Town Courier, Saturday, 28 February, pp. 2-3.

Anonymous. (1829). Sketches of Van Diemen's Land. The Australian (Sydney), Tuesday, 31 March, p. 3-4.

Grant, J. E. (1831). Notice of the Van Diemen's Land tiger. Gleanings in Science 3(30): 175-177. [quote]

Melville, Henry [Wintle, Henry Saxelby Melville]. (1833). Van Diemen's Land ; Comprehending A Variety of Statistical And Other Information Likely To Be Interesting To The Emigrant, As Well As To The General Reader. Hobart Town: Henry Melville & London: Smith, Elder, and Co.

Parker, Henry Walter. (1833). The Rise, Progress, And Present State Of Van Diemen's Land ; With Advice To Emigrants. Also, A Chapter On Convicts, Shewing The Efficacy Of Transportation As A Secondary Punishment. London: J. Cross & Simpkin and Marshall.

"Our Travelling Correspondent". (1927). Tasmania's Early Days: Excursion Westward in 1829. The Mercury (Hobart), Friday, 4 November, p. 6.

 

Widowson (1829)

Text:

The only animals that can be termed carnivorous are the small hyena, the devil, and the native cat. The hyena, or as it is sometimes called, the tiger, is about the size of a large terrier; it frequents the wilds of Tasmania, and is scarcely heard of in the located districts. Where sheep run in large flocks near the mountains, these animals destroy a great many lambs. The female produces five or six at a birth; the skin resembles the striped hyena. (p. 179-180)

 

Publication:

Widowson, Henry. (1829). Present State of Van Diemen's Land: Comprising an Account of its Agricultural Capabilities With Observations on the Present State of Farming, &c. &c. London: S. Robinson, W. Joy, J. Cross and J. Birdsall.

Bischoff, James. (1832). Sketch of the History of Van Diemen's Land... London: John Richardson. [p. 29; quote]

 

Anonymous (1830a)

Text:

A curious circumstance happened at Mr.
Blinkworth's, Jerusalem, the other day. A
native tiger, as it is called, boldly entered
his cottage, where his family was assembled,
and seized one of the little children by the
hair, but fortunately missed its bite. Mr.
Blinkworth who was confined to the house
with a lame hand, alertly seized the animal
by the tail and dashing it on the ground
speedily killed it.

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1830). [No title]. The Hobart Town Courier, Saturday, 17 April, p. 2.

Parker, Henry Walter. (1833). The Rise, Progress, And Present State Of Van Diemen's Land ; With Advice To Emigrants. Also, A Chapter On Convicts, Shewing The Efficacy Of Transportation As A Secondary Punishment. London: J. Cross & Simpkin and Marshall. [summation]

 

Anonymous (1830b)

Text:

It has however been
found requisite to make sheep sheds from
split wood, and the expense will not much
exceed 1s per head for the number they
contain; they are not only a necessary pro-
tection against the severity of the weather,
but a defence against the hyena and native
dogs.

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1830). The Van Diemen's Land Company. The Hobart Town Courier, Saturday, 14 August, p. 4.

 

Author? (1830)

Text:

Thylacinus Harrissii Temm.

 

Publication:

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=wLcWAQAAIAAJ&pg=RA2-PT6&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiyg5H07ePjAhWB7HMBHfBXDFE4KBDoAQg5MAI#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

Discussion:

Creates a taxonomic synonym by publishing Thylacinus Harrissii (p. 31)

 

Burnett (1830)

 

Publication:

Burnett, Gilbert Thomas. (1830). Illustrations of the Quadrupeda, or Quadrupeds, being the arrangement of the true four-footed Beasts indicated in outline. Quarterly Journal of Science, Literature, and Art 28: 336-353. [p. 351]

 

Discussion:

On 1 October 2019 I discovered that this publication uses the binomial "Thylacynus [i.e. Thylacinus] cynocephalus", three years before the supposed author of the species (i.e. Warlow, 1833). And given the association of the common name Zebra-Thylacyne/Zebra Thylacine with the species, it seems clear that Warlow was aware of Burnett's description. Thus it is more likely that he was perpetuating Burnett's binomial rather than authoring a species himself.

 

Curr (1830)

Text:

The superintendent of the Hampshire and Surrey Hills Establishments is authorised to give the following rewards for the destruction of noxious animals in those districts:-

For every Male Hyena 5/-

For every Female [Hyena] with or without young 7/-

Half the above prices for Male and Female Devils and Wild Dogs.

When 20 hyenas have been destroyed the reward for the next 20 will be increased to 6/- and 8/- respectively and afterwards an additional 1/- per head will be made after every seven killed until the reward makes 10/- for every male and 12/- for every female.

 

Publication:

Van Diemen's Land Company Letterbook, 16 April 1830.

Paddle, Robert N. (2000). The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Oakleigh, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. x + 273 pp. [p. 110]

 

Henderson (1830)

Image and text:

4. The same; but somewhat larger; the tridents mitre-shaped; apex, sharp-pointed. Most probably, part of the remains of the Van Diemen's Land Tiger. Fig. 11. (p. 124)

 

Publication:

Letter from John Henderson to Colonel Dumaresq (Private Secretary to the Governor, Sydney), dated 1 July 1830.

Henderson, John. (1832). Observations on the Colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press. [pp. 109-126; figs. between pp. 112-133]

 

Lang (1830)

Text:

The tiger or hyæna would have been a
much more formidable enemy to the Bathurst settler
than the despicable native dog, though indeed they
would certainly have afforded a much nobler game
to the gentlemen of the Bathurst Hunt.

 

Publication:

Lang, Reverend John Dunmore. (1830). Interesting Discovery. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Tuesday, 25 May, p. 3 |4|.

 

Lesson (1830)*

Image and text:

 

Publication:

Lesson, René P. (1830). Centurie Zoologique, ou Choix d'Animaux Rares... Paris: F. G. Levrault. [pp. 14-17]

 

Robinson (1830a)

Text:

17 August—... This is a dreary country. The soil is covered with a coarse wiry grass and moss, and the shepherds said the sheep could not eat it but for its being wet. In travelling over the Surrey Hills saw several skeletons of sheep; McKay [convict servant] said the excessive cold and wet together with the great number of hyaenas kill them...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 17 August 1830.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 78]

 

Errors by other authors:

Guiler & Godard (1998:111) erroneously quote from Robinson's diary: "great numbers of hyenas killed sheep at Surrey Hills".

 

Other references:

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp.

 

Robinson (1830b)

Text:

22 August—... At 9 am proceeded on with the whole of the people to Middlesex Plains. The kangaroo bounded before us as we passed. Heavy rain, hazy weather. On leaving Epping Forest came onto a small open plain and as we passed here McKay described just before us several hyaenas in search of game. We gave them chase and the dog Paddy attacked and killed one, which proved to be the female. She had two fine pups, which made off though closely pursued by McKay. Travelled on and stopped on the side of the Dove River, whilst McKay and Woorrady went to hunt kangaroo. Platt skinned the hyaena, which was very lean from the feeding of pups... With difficulty made a fire and after eating rather hearty of kangaroo was tolerable comfortable. The whole of this country abounds with game...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 22 August 1830.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 79]

 

Robinson (1830c)

Text:

24 August—... Hazy weather. Proceeded across some sword grass plains, forded small river and ascended some hills. We commenced our day's travels in tolerable wet clothes. Saw some native huts which was very old; also crossed an old track of the natives. The kangaroo bounded away through the forest as we passed along... saw several carcases of sheep which had been killed by hyaenas or wild dogs...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 24 August 1830.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 79-80]

 

Robinson (1830d)

Text:

25 August—... Walked out with Mr Robson [Van Diemen's Land Company] and viewed the bridge over the Emu, which is badly constructed. Saw an excellent black coarse granite—Mr Frankland [Surveyor-General] took a specimen of it when he accompanied His Excellency to this place. Sent a letter to Mr Hellyer and a native basket. Mr R consented for McKay to have 7/- out of the store for a bitch hyaen (5/- being allowed for a dog)...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 25 August 1830.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 80]

 

Robinson (1830e)

Text:

29 September—... Travelled along the acclivity of several hills. Purposed crossing over a tier to the coast, but finding it exceedingly bad travelling I proceeded down the Mersey and then along the coast to Port Sorell. From the Mersey to Port Sorell the coast consists of sandy beaches with rocky points, and is frequented by hyaenas...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 29 September 1830.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 80]

 

Robinson (1830f)

Text:

30 October—... The whole extent of coast from King Georges Point to St Helens Point is heathy... Hundreds of beautiful heaths of variegated hue and all in blossom and sending forth their exhalation, some in scent like the hawthorn, together with the immense number of paroquets and kangaroo, and the small rivers with the numerous swans swimming stately along, rendered the scene delightfully pleasant. I had now got somewhat accustomed to carrying a knapsack or otherwise the pleasure of the scenery would have been greatly marred. Saw a hyaena and a number of forest kangaroo...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 30 October 1830.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 80]

 

Ross (1830)

Publication:

Ross, J. (1830). The Hobart Town Almanack. Hobart: Self published.

Ross, J. (1830). Recollections of a short excursion to Lake Echo in March 1823. Hobart Town Almanac, pp. 85-122. [relevant?]

Including:

Scott, Thomas. (1830a). Excursion to the westward, of his excellency Lieutenant Governor Arthur in January 1829. In: Ross, James (ed.). The Hobart Town Almanack for the Year 1830: Hobart: Self published.

 

Scott (1830)

Image:

 

Publication:

Scott, Thomas. (1830b). Sketch of a Tyger Trap intended for Mount Morriston, 1823. p. 18 in 'Sketches in Early Van Diemen's Land (Ed.) K. R. Von Stieglitz (Published 1966).

Beresford, Quentin and Bailey, Gary. (1981). Search for the Tasmanian Tiger. Hobart, Tasmania: Blubber Head Press. 54 pp. [p. 15]

Paddle, Robert N. (2000). The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Oakleigh, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. x + 273 pp. [p. 95]

https://www.utas.edu.au/library/exhibitions/thylacine/abject.html

 

Van der Hoeven (1830)

Text:

Subgenus Thylacinus Temm. Dentes incisivi aequales; molares 7-7/7-7. Auriculae breves, pilosae. Pedes postici tetradactyli. Cauda mediocris, basi teres, versus apicem compressa.

Sp. Dasyur. cynocephalus Geoffr., Thylacinus Harrisii Temm., Didelph. cynocephala, Harris, Transact. of the Linn. Soc., IX. Pl. XIX, Encycl. méth., Mammif., Suppl., Pl. VII. fig. 3 (fig. Harrisii); van de grootte en gedaante van een'wolf; kleur grijsbruin, met zwarte dwarsstrepen achter op den rug; vleeschetend; de, aan het einde zamengedrukte, staart geeft aanleiding, om te deuken, dat dit dier zwemmen kan. (p. 625)

 

English translation using Google Translation

Subgenus Thylacinus Temm. Dentes incisivi aequales; molares 7-7/7-7. Auriculae breves, pilosae. Pedes postici tetradactyli. Cauda mediocris, basi teres, versus apicem compressa.

Sp. Dasyur. cynocephalus Geoffr., Thylacinus Harrisii Temm., Didelph. cynocephala, Harris, Transact. of the Linn. Soc., IX. Pl. XIX, Encycl. méth., Mammif., Suppl., Pl. VII. fig. 3 (fig. Harrisii); of the size and shape of a wolf; color gray-brown, with black cross stripes on the back; meat-eating; the tail, compressed at the end, gives cause to think that this animal can swim. (p. 625)

 

Publication:

Van der Hoeven, J. (1830). Handboek der dierkunde, of grondbeginsels dre natuurlyke... Rotterdam: J. Allart.

 

Wagler (1830)

Publication:

Wagler, J. (1830). Natürliches System der Amphibien, mit vorangehender Classification der Säugthiere und Vögel. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Zoologie. München: J.J. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. vi + 354 pp. [p. 24]

 

Anonymous (1831a)

Text:

A Beautiful specimen of the Male TIGER of
Van Diemen's land, is now to be seen at
George Marsden's Livery Stables, (opposite to Mr.
Swan's), Elizabeth street.
No live Tiger has ever been exhibited or seen in
Hobart town before.
A variety of BIRDS both alive and stuff are
also to be seen at the same place, with a great
number of other Curiosities which will speedily be
forwarded to England.
Admittance One Shilling.

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1831a). ["A beautiful specimen of the male TIGER..."]. The Hobart Town Courier, Saturday, 17 September, p. 3. [first live thylacine displayed in Hobart town; George Marsden]

Anonymous. (1831b). ["A beautiful specimen of the male TIGER..."]. The Hobart Town Courier, Saturday, 24 September, p. 1. [first live thylacine displayed in Hobart town; George Marsden]

 

Anonymous (1831b)

Text:

Sale By Auction,

BY MR. COOK,

At his Mart in Elizabeth-street, on Wed-

nesday the 23rd inst., at 1 o'clock pre-

cisely, if not previously disposed of—

TWO Native Tigers.

To be seen at Mr. Marsden's Livery

Stables, Elizabeth-street.

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1831). 'Sale by Auction'. The Tasmanian, 19 November, p. 2 |1|.

 

Bonaparte (1831)

Publication:

Bonaparte, Carlo Luciano (Charles Lucian). (1831). Saggio di una Distribuzione Metodica degli Animali Vertebrati. Roma: Presso Antonio Boulzaler. [p. 19]

 

Court. (1831-1835)

Court. (1831-1835), Archives Office of Tasmania. [see (Paddle, 2000:118,242)]

 

Fischer (1831)

Publication:

Fischer, G. (1831). Rapport aux Membres de la Société sur quelques faits nouveaux en Zoologie. Bjulletenʹ Moskovskogo Obščestva Ispytatelej Prirody 3: 1-151.

 

Grant (1831)

Text:

VII.—Notice of the Van Diemen's Land Tiger. By J. Grant, Esq.

[Read before the Physical Class Asiatic Society.]

Through the kindness of my friend Dr. Henderson, I have the pleasure to send for the inspection of the Asiatic Society, the stuffed skin of an animal from Van Diemen's Land. It is called by the settlers the Van Diemen's Land Tiger, and proves very destructive to sheep. Whether it be synonimous with the creature called the Van Diemen's Land Hyena or not, I will not take it upon me to say ; but the members of the Society will judge for themselves, as far as the following quotation from the last Hobart Town Almanack [i.e. Scott (1829), Ross (1830)] may enable them to do so: "Considerable numbers o the native Hyena prowl from the mountains near this, (a grazing farm belonging to a gentleman in Hobart Town,) in quest of prey among the flocks, at night. The shepherd is therefore obliged, during the lambing season, either to watch his flocks during the night, or to enclose them in a fold. One of these animals had just been caught before the party passed. It measured six feet from the snout to the tail. The skin is beautfully striped with black and white on the back, while the belly and siders are of a grey colour. Its mouth resembles that of a wolf, with huge jaws, opening almost to the ears. Its legs are short, in proportion to the body, and it has a sluggish appearance ; but in running, it bounds like a kangaroo, though not with such speed. The female carries its young in a pouch, like most other quadrupeds of the country."

If the animal just described, be identical with the one now submitted to the Society, it must have been a larger individual. When the writer in the Almanack states that his animal measured six feet from the snout to the tail, I conclude he means, from the snout to the end of the tail. The newly killed animal too, it will be remembered, would measure longer than an ill-prepared dried specimen like this one, which measures from the snout to the end of the tail, four feet six inches. The colour of the animal is between a greyish and a tawny. The character and the head is wolfish and carnivorous, with a very deep mouth. The neck of the specimen appears longish, and unsymmetrical ; but I attribute that to the mode in which it has been stuffed ; and it is proper to observe, that the specimen was presented to Dr. Henderson—for if he had an opportunity of preparing it himself, it would have offered, I doubt not, a very different appearance. The legs too, especially the hinder, have suffered in the preparation. Extending from about the middle of the dorsal region to the insertion of the tail, you will observe a succession of black transverse stripes, from the appearance of which, I presume, and its prowling habits, the creature has obtained its name of the V. D. Land Tiger. You will further observe, that it has got the marsupium or ventral sac, peculiar to a certain class of animals, hence termed Marsupiata. This part of the animal, however, on account of the imperfectness of the preparation, does not admit of satisfactory developement. It has got five clawed toes in each fore foot ; hard, horny, and somewhat blunted, as if intended partly to dig or burrow. The hind feet have got four clawed toes each ; the claws being rather longer and sharper than those in the fore feet. The teeth, in the specimen before us, are as follows:—Incisors 8/6, small and regular, with the exception of having a worn appearance, as if they had gone through hard service. Canines 1/1 1/1. large, cheek teeth 6/7 6/7, or twenty-two teeth in each jaw. It is evident, at a glance, that the creature is neither a tiger nor a hyena, as its popular name would lead one to suppose. A reference to Griffith's Animal Kingdom [i.e. Griffith, SMith & Pidgeon (1827)] shows, that it belongs to the family of the Dasyuri, which, according to Cuvier, is the fourth of the Carnassiers ; being, says the same authority, distinguished from the Sarigues by having two incisors, and four cheek teeth less in each jaw than the latter. Thus there remain to them only forty-two teeth. Their tail is described as covered all over with long hair, (from which their name is derived, ϐασυς and ούρος,) and it is not prehensile. In the specimen before us, the tail is covered all over with hair, but that hair is not long. The Dasyuri, we are further told, inhabit New Holland, and live on insects, carcasses, &c., sometimes penetrating even into the houses, where their voracity render them very unseasonable guests. Eight varieties of the Dasyurus are specified in Griffith's Animal Kingdom ; and of these the specimen now before us would appear to approximate most to the dog-faced or Dasyurus Cynocephalus, which is described as yellowish, brown or grey, as large as a wolf or dog,—crupper marked with transverse black bands, and tail compressed. Accompanying is a faithful copy of the drawing of the dog-faced Dasyurus, as given in Griffith ; but the epithet cat-faced would be much more applicable to it, I submit, if like the plate. The back stripes and the ears, however, identify it as the same animal, or at any rate a variety. The attitude, I am rather inclined to think, is fanciful. But there is another difficulty. The Dasyurus, in Griffith's Animal Kingdom, is stated to have cheek teeth 6/6 6/6, whereas the specimen under consideration had cheek teeth 6/7 6/7, or 12 in the upper jaw, and 14 in the lower. It is also stated in the same work, as a distinction among others, between the Sarigues and the Dasyuri, that the former have in all fifthy teeth (50), and the latter only forty-two (42),—the specimen before us, however, has in all 44 teeth. Looking, then, at the difference between the shape of the head, especially in the cut of the mouth, between the animal before us, and the figure and description of the Dasyurus Cynocephalus, as represented and described in Griffith, is there not reason to suppose this one to be an undescribed variety? In that case, by way of convenience, and looking at its wolf-like expression, we might distinguish it as the Dasyurus Lucocephalus. I leave the subject, however, in good hands, and have to apologise for these hasty and inconclusive notes ; but I thought, defective as they are, that they might, perhaps, excite those who are better qualified to a closer examination of the subject.

 

Publication:

Grant, J. E. (1831). Notice of the Van Diemen's Land tiger. Gleanings in Science 3(30): 175-177.

Henderson, John. (1832). Observations on the Colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press. [pp. 141f-143f]

 

Discussion:

The Henderson who gave Grant the specimen is Henderson (1832), who states that he acquired it from "Mr. N. Hornby, of the Bombay Civil Service".

 

Robinson (1831)

Text:

22 November—... Whilst travelling along the east bank of the Derwent the black boy Lacklay discovered the lair of an hyaena with three fine cubs, which he killed before [I] saw them; the old one got away. I was exceedingly displeased at his killing those animals as I had been desirous to procure some of those animals alive, and those were three fine cubs beautifully marked and a fit size to tame. Umarrah and his wife carried  away the carcases of those animals and purposed eating them, which is singular since there was abundance of kangaroo and those animals are carnivorous... Had a fine north view of Mount Wellington at Hobarton, the sight of which occasioned an emotion more easily to be conceived than described...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 22 November 1831.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 80-81]

 

Wedge (1831)

Publication:

Diary of John Helder Wedge, no longer in existence (Paddle, 2000:138f).

Guiler, Eric Rowland. (1985). Thylacine: The Tragedy of the Tasmanian Tiger. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

See (Paddle, 2000:138f)

 

Anonymous (1832)

Text:

Mr. Alfred Stephen, who returns to us we
learn with the appointment of Attorney Gene-
ral, in the room of Mr. Montagu promoted to
the puisne judgeship, has received the thanks
of the Zoological Society of London, for his
present of a spotted opossum, (Dasyurus vi-
verrinus, Geoff.) which he took home with him,
and which has been received and deposited in
the Menagerie, as also for his present of a pre-
served opossum, (thylacinus cynocephalus)
which is deposited in the Museum.

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1832). ['On the 23rd July,...']. The Hobart Town Courier, Friday, 14 December, p. 2.

 

Discussion:

If it weren't for the scientific name being included, nobody would be aware that 'opossum' is being used to refer to the thylacine. This raises the possibility that other early references to the thylacine are hidden in plain sight due to the ambiguous common names used without mention of the scientific name.

 

Author? (1832)

Text:

77) Thylacinus Temm. (Peracyon ? Gr.), [word?]. 1 —

 

Publication:

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=AL9aAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA287&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH6pKz7eXjAhW0juYKHZETCE04MhDoAQgxMAE#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

Bonaparte (1832)

Publication:

Bonaparte, Carlo Luciano (Charles Lucian). (1832). Saggio d'una Distribuzione Metodica degli Animali Vertebrati a Sangue Freddo. Roma: Presso Antonio Boulzaler.

 

Discussion:

On 24 September 2019 I discovered that Bonaparte had erected the family Thylacinidae in this publication, six years earlier than is universally accepted (i.e. Bonaparte, 1838). Interestingly, he does not include the family in his higher taxonomy of marsupials in (Bonaparte, 1845).

 

Other references

Bonaparte, Carlo Luciano (Charles Lucian). (1845). Catalogo Metodico dei Mammiferi Europei. Milan: Giacomo Pirola.

 

De La Beche (1832)

Text:

According to Mr. Pentland, the bones from the Australian breccia, forwarded to Paris, and examined by Baron Cuvier and himself, belong to "eight species of animals, referable to the following genera: Dasyurus or Thylacinus;..."

 

Publication:

De La Beche, Henry T. (1832). A Geological Manual. Philadelphia: Carey & Lea. [p. 509]

 

 

Goodrige (1832)

Text:

Hyæna oppossum or tiger    Thylacinus cynocephalus

 

Publication:

Goodrige, Charles Medyett. (1832). Narrative of a Voyage to the South Seas,... London: Hamilton and Adams. [p. 291]

 

Henderson (1832)

Text:

The Van Diemen's Land hyena is now peculiar to that country; although it would appear from the organic remains found at Wellington, that they have at one time been much more extensively distributed. It is about the size of the hyena common in Hindoostan, and appears to have no very peculiar character, to occasion its being separated in classification from the tribe Canis; with the exception of the organs of generation, which are here similar to all those of the foregoing genera. It likewise feeds during the night time, its proper food being carrion; but when that cannot be procured, it will then attack the flocks, and in certain newly settled districts, it is found extremely destructive to the young lambs. Its habits are little known; indeed it is seldom or ever seen, save when caught during the night, in the snares set for it by the shepherd. None of them have ever been known to attack a man; nor do their depredations almost ever extend even to the elder portion of the flock. A badly preserved specimen, the only one I have seen, was kindly given me by Mr. N. Hornby, of the Bombay Civil Service; and this has lately been described by Dr. John Grant, in a letter published by him in the "Gleanings in Science." for June 1831*.

 

Publication:

Henderson, John. (1832). Observations on the Colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press.

 

Discussion:

 

 

Marsden (1832)

Text:

To Connoisseurs
IN NATURAL CURIOSITIES.
Stuffed Birds; Quadrupeds, Insects, Sfc.
THE under igned has a general collection
of most of the stuffed birds,and
bird skins of this Colony ; the plumage
of which are in a fine state of preservation.
Among which wiii be found,
the pelican, curlew, owl, green pigeon,
green dove, bronze pigeon, emu bird,
laughing jackall, blue bill, diamond and
thunder birds, red start, fantail, dishwater,
red diamond, and magpie ; ground,
Rose Hill, King and Blue Mountain
parrots, and many others too numerous
to mention.
OF QUADRUPEDS.
Native tiger, white oppossum, two
seal pups, wombat, tiger and native cats.
New Zealand and Tougataboo battle
axes, spears, paddles, and clubs. A few
cases of birds and insects, in fine condition.
N. B.—Quadrupeds, birds, &c. prepared
and stuffed as usual; upon the most
moderate terms. A fine Eagle Hawk,
(alive) for Sale.
G. MARSDEN.

 

Publication:

Marsden, George. (1832). To Connoisseurs in Natural Curiosities. The Tasmanian, Friday, 23 November, p. 1.

 

 

McRa (1832)

Text:

Hyenas and devils destroy numbers of lambs, and are seen in the less located districts.

 

Publication:

McRa, Hector. (1932). Tasmania—One Hundred Years Ago. The Australasian, Saturday, 10 December, p. 4.

 

Robinson (1832a)

Text:

14 July—... The native men went away to hunt. In my way, on ascending a small hill, observed a bitch hyaena, and a full grown pup run away before me. I and my servant stopped and I stood gazing upon those animals as they fled; their tails stood erect. Whilst looking at them suddenly started up close by where I stood two other full grown cubs who ran about scenting the ground. They performed several revolutions and loped over rocks and seemed in great agitation. They came close to where I stood but did not observe me. At last they got on the scent of the old bitch and run off. It would appear that they were asleep when the bitch run away and on missing her when they awoke commnced searching about. I proceeded and intercepted one of them on his return back...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 14 July 1832.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 81]

 

Robinson (1832b)

Text:

15 July—... I now distributed among them presents of beads, knives, scissors &c, with which they were much delighted. Mounted some of them on horseback and otherwise amused them. My people proposed to hunt, remainign at this place for the night. I however prevailed upon them to move on at once towards Mount Cameron and encamp. To this the strangers agreed and we set out on our way to Wob.ber.rick.er. I told them about seeing the hyaena, at which they laughed and said they had speared plenty.

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 15 July 1832.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 81]

 

Robinson (1832c)

Text:

29 August—... Proceeded on my journey. Yesterday the natives was in ecstacies of joy; on enquiry they told me warm weather was coming and showed me the trees in blossom which had been the cause of their excitement... Saw an hyaena at Mount Cameron which had been recently killed. Suppose it to have been killed by the natives who it is more than probable had been following on my tracks since my departure. The New Hollanders skinned the hyaena for the purpose of carrying it to Cape Grim to get the ten shillings reward from the Company. Pleasant weather throughout. New moon...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 29 August 1832.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 81]

 

Robson (1832)

Text:

Dogs notwithstanding the numbers which are destroyed continue to kill but some particularly harass and scatter our flocks in spite of every exertion... It is worthy of remark that while we are so overrun by Dogs we are comparatively free from Hyenas only four sheep have fallen by this animal and it is probable that even these may have been killed by Dogs as it is a little difficult to discriminate a while after death.

 

Publication:

Surrey Hills (VDL Co) monthly stock return, August 1832.

Paddle, Robert N. (2000). The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Oakleigh, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. x + 273 pp. [p. 122]

 

Walker (1832)

Text:

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.

 

Publication:

The journal entry (for 15 October 1832?) of either James Backhouse Walker or George Washington Walker.

Walker, James Backhouse. (1902). Early Tasmania: Papers read before the Royal Society of Tasmania during the years 1888 to 1899. Hobart, Tasmania: John Vail, Government Printer.

 

Anonymous (1833a)

Text:

By the next line of the advertisement, we find that the slaughter has already commence, for, says Mr. Pearson, I have caused the carcases of those already killed to be well sprinkled with arsenic. This is truly humane—the idea, too, is novel ! devils, tigers, dogs, cats, crows, eagles, nay, perhaps, a starving traveller, who may, by chance, tumble on so good a bon bouche as a dead dog in the bush, are each alike to be visited with the same punishment, should they dare stray but a few yards in passing on the road (if we recollect right), not yet marked out through Douglas Park.

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1833a). ['We have noticed']. Colonial Times, Tuesday, 25 June, p. 2 |2|. [plans to kill thylacines etc. that scavenge arsenic-poisoned carcasses]

 

Anonymous (1833b)

Text:

To Naturalists.

TO BE SOLD, at George Marsden's Livery Stables, Elizabeth-street, and at Charles Johnson's, General Dealer, near the King George Inn, Liverpool-street, a most splendid collection of Birds and Animals, as follows '--

Animals.
Native Tiger
...

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1833b). To Naturalists. The Tasmanian, Friday, 8 November, p. 1.

Anonymous. (1833c). To Naturalists. Colonial Times, Tuesday, 12 November, p. 1.

Anonymous. (1833d). To Naturalists. The Hobart Town Courier, Friday, 22 November, p. 1.

Anonymous. (1833e). To Naturalists. Hobart Town Courier, 15 November, p.1.

 

Breton (1833)

Text:

The animals of Van Diemen's Land differ in some respects from those of New Holland. The varieties of the kangaroo amount to only three; and the native dog, koula, and sloth are not found in the former, while the native tiger, or hyena opossum, as it is absurdly called, and the native devil, are unknown in the latter.

The colour of the native tiger (dog-faced dasyuris) is brown, with a number of black stripes which extend across the back, gradually taper to a point, and terminate near the belly; the circumference of the body is only eighteen inches. It is carnivorous, has a remarkably large mouth, destroys lambs, and will eat offal, is slow in its movements, extremely cunning in its nature, and is a night animal. Like the kangaroo, it goes in tracks or paths beaten by that animal, or by its own kind, and can be tamed with equal facility.

The following were the dimensions of one:—

From the nose to the insertion of the tail 45 inches

Length of the tail..................................... 20 do.

Ear to the shoulders............................... 12 do.

Shoulder to the foot.................................. 8 do.

 

Publication:

Breton, William Henry. (1833). Excursions in New South Wales, Western Australia, and Van Dieman's Land ... London: Richard Bentley. [p. 407-408]

Breton, William Henry. (1834). Excursions in N.S.W., W.A., and Van Diemen's Land... second edition. London. [p. 356-357?]

Breton, William Henry. (1835). Excursions in New South Wales, Western Australia, and Van Diemen's Land ... third edition. London: Richard Bentley. [p. 357-358]

 

Van der Hoeven (1833)

Text:

Schedel van Thylacinus Harrisii; [unknown fraction]. (II. bl. 625.)

 

Publication:

Van der Hoeven, J. (1833). Handboek der dierkunde, of grondbeginsels dre natuurlyke geschiedenis van ... Amsterdam: G. G. Sulpke.

 

Hutchinson (1833)

Hutchinson, J. H. Letter 16 December 1833.

 

Lear (1833)*

Image:

 

Publication:

McCracken, Robert. (2012). Edward Lear Down Under. Explore 34(3): 12-16.

 

Melville (1833)

Text:

The hyæna opossum, or tiger; an animal very destructive among flocks, and sometimes measuring six feet from the snout to the tail. The skin is beautifully striped with black and white on the back, while the belly and sides are of a grey colour. Its mouth resembles that of a wolf, with huge jaws, opening almost to the ears. Its legs are short in proportion to the body, and it has a sluggish appearance ; but in running it bounds like a kangaroo, though not with such speed. The female carries its young in a pouch, like most other quadrupeds of the Colony. (p. 26)

 

Publication:

Melville, Henry [Wintle, Henry Saxelby Melville]. (1833). Van Diemen's Land ; Comprehending A Variety of Statistical And Other Information Likely To Be Interesting To The Emigrant, As Well As To The General Reader. Hobart Town: Henry Melville & London: Smith, Elder, and Co.

 

Parker (1833)

Text:

The Van Diemen's Land hyena, or tiger, a carniverous animal, very destructive to sheep flocks, is peculiar to the island, although it would appear from organic remains, found in a cave, that at one time it existed in New South Wales. It is a nocturnal prowler, and flies inhabited districts. The skin is striped with black and white on the back, while the belly and sides are of a grey colour; its mouth resembles that of the wolf; its legs are short in proportion to its length, which from the snout to the tail, in a full-grown animal, is nearly six feet. It has some of the peculiarities of the kangaroo, for it proceeds by bounds, and has the ventral sac in which it carries its young.

It is supposed, by Dr. John Grant, to be an undescribed variety of dasyurus ; it is evidently neither a tiger nor a hyena, as its popular name imports.

The only instance I can find that one has attacked a human being, was at Mr. Blinkworth's, at Jerusalem, in the year 1830 ; it then boldly entered the cottage, where the family was assembled, and attempted to seize one of the little chidlren by the hair, but, fortunately, missed its bite. Mr Blinkworth directly caught it by the tail, and, dashing it on the ground, speedily killed it. (p. 180-181)

 

Publication:

Parker, Henry Walter. (1833). The Rise, Progress, And Present State Of Van Diemen's Land ; With Advice To Emigrants. Also, A Chapter On Convicts, Shewing The Efficacy Of Transportation As A Secondary Punishment. London: J. Cross & Simpkin and Marshall.

Parker, Henry Walter. (1834). Van Diemen's Land; Its Rise, Progress, and Present State: With Advice to Emigrants. Second Editio, Containing a Supplement, Shewing the State of the Colony in May, 1834. London: J. Cross & Simpkin and Marshall.

 

Robinson (1833)

Text:

30 August—... There was plenty of ducks and crows. Rain at times. The rivers had shifted. Caught kangaroo and killed one hyaena on the sandy beach. The hyaena is called mannalargenna (east coast), cabberrone-nener, by the Cape Grim, lowenin, by Jenny (north coast), clinner, by the Cape Portland warternoonner, by the Brune cannenner, and by the Oyster Bay larnter...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 30 August 1833.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 82]

 

Warlow (1833)

Text:

Ord. Marsupialia.

Fam. Dasyuridae. Gen. Thylacinus.

Thylacinus striatus. Zebra Thylacine. Didelphis cynocephalus, Harris.

 

Publication:

Warlow, W. (1833). Systematically arranged Catalogue of the Mammalia and Birds belonging to the Museum of the Asiatic Society, Calcutta. The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 2(14): 97.

 

Hutchinson (1834)

Hutchinson, J. H. Letter 4 August 1834.

 

Robinson (1834a)

Text:

25 January—... Say nine or ten dogs and hyaena together had been caught in a month...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 25 January 1834.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 82]

 

Robinson (1834b)

Text:

6 April—... Just before I got on to the long sandy beach and whilst we were walking along the top of a hill, my dog Fly scented game and ran to the bottom. I watched her and in an angle of some rocks with a sandy beach saw a large hyaena at bay with the dog. My son at the same time run down to the dog's assistance and saw three young cubs who with the bitch had been feeding on the carcase of a kangaroo. The unexpected visitant surprised the animal, when she run up the hill followed by the dog. We shouted and the animal alarmed run over the hill, thence across a plain and along the acclivity of another hill for a considerable distance, followed by the dog who from the commencement of the chase kept close to the animal occasionally biting its rump, when the hyaeana would turn around and give chase to the dog and anon pursue its way, and at the same instant she turned the dog was biting her. Another large dog with us and which belonged to the old chief, would not approach it but barked. Black Dick and a white man came up and I sent them down to the dog's assistance (for this was only the second one she had seen and very large). When the men went to it it run at them. At last it fell when the dog Fly sprung and fastened on its throat and the two men killed it and brought it to me. It was the finest hunt I had seen and a good run over clear ground. My son and some others of the men was hunting the cubs; my son caught one alive and two escaped after being chased. I brought away the skin. This beast was surprised in feeding on game; it was not her lair. I imagine she was making for her lair when chased by the dog. Perhaps the dog hyaena was at the lair, or hunting more game. It might have killed this and brought the bitch to it. It was the finest I had ever seen, with a head in the shape of a fox. (Described this hunt hereafter minutely; it will be interesting.)...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 6 April 1834.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Beresford, Quentin and Bailey, Gary. (1981). Search for the Tasmanian Tiger. Hobart, Tasmania: Blubber Head Press. 54 pp.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 82-83]

 

Robinson (1834c)

Text:

4 June—... a severe frost this night, the first I had seen this winter and the ice a quarter of an inch thick... The [Van Diemen's Land] Company have removed their flocks; they have had no increase but declension of stock. Mr Chitty said the Company could not keep sheep here, that if they were to fold them they would soon die, that it was only moving about that kept them alive. Wild dogs and hyaenas are numerous. Watchmen were ept to look after them...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 4 June 1834.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 83]

 

Robinson (1834d)

Text:

18 June—... Showery weather. The natives searching for indications of the aborigines... Jack said he saw the hyaena hunting a kangaroo on the scent like a dog. He ran and speared him in the tail, and the dog caught him by the neck. They brought him home. It was a bitch hyaena. Had it skinned and the skull saved. Busy since my sojourn at this camp in writing journal and in conversation with the aborigines.

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 18 June 1834.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 83]

 

Robinson (1834e)*

Image:

 

Publication:

Drawing by Robinson in his Journal, 19-21 June 1834.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: the Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Freeman, Carol J. (2005). Figuring extinction: Visualizing the thylacine in zoological and natural history works 1808-1936. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Tasmania: Hobart, Australia.

 

Robinson (1834f)

Text:

21 June—... The cause of this bad weather is attributed to the circumstance of the carcase of the hyaena being left exposed on the ground and the natives wondered I had not told the white men to have made a hut to cover the bones, which they do themselves, make a little house...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 21 June 1834.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 83]

 

Robinson (1834g)

Text:

23 June—... It was not my wish to encamp at this short stage but the natives were tiresome and murmuring and wanted to stop. Penderoin was walking in advance of me when he discovered a tiger cat asleep in its lair, which was under a tussock of grass and made of old grass torn in pieces. The youth run his spear through it, it was a female hyaena...

 

Publication:

Robinson's journal entry for 23 June 1834.

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Owen, David. (2003). Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. [p. 83]

 

Rusticus (1834)

Text:

a flock of four thousand sheep, left partly unshorn, without a Shepherd—a prey to dogs, thieves, and hyenas

 

Publication:

Rusticus. (1834). Original Correspondence. The Colonist and Van Diemen's Land Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser, Tuesaday, 29 April, p. 3.

 

Swainson (1834)*

Text:

6381. The Dog-faced Opossum (Thylacinus cynocephalus Tem.) (fig. 1070) suggests the idea of a union of the dog and the panther; the fur is short and soft, yellowish brown, the sides of the body being marked by broad transverse stripes, which do not, however, extend to the belly; the tail is compressed, which suggests the supposition that it is used in swimming, particularly as this animal inhabits the rocks on the sea shore, and is known to feed upon fish. (p. 1485)

 

Publication:

Swainson, W. (1834). The dog-faced opossum. In: Murray, Hugh, Wallace, W., Jameson, R., Hooker, W. J. and Swainson, W. An Encyclopædia of Geography... London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman.

 

Bicknell (c.1835)* [c.1850?]

Image:

It is unclear to the present author whether any text beyond that on the plate accompanied the illustration:

 

Publication:

Bicknell, W. I. (c.1835). The natural history of the sacred scriptures, and Guide to general zoology. London: John Tallis.

 

Bowler (1835)

Text [incomplete]:

‘‘will run away from any person ... she will destroy sheep’’." (Bowler, 1835, quoted by Rolls, 2012:126)

 

Publication:

"Richard Bowler a ticket-of-leave pastoralist of Broadmarsh writing to his brother in 1835" (Smith, 2012:272)

Rolls, Eric. (2002). Visions of Australia: Impressions of the Landscape 1640-1910. Port Melbourne: Lothian.

Smith, Nicholas. (2012). The return of the living dead: unsettlement and the Tasmanian tiger. Journal of Australian Studies 36(3): 269-289. [Abstract]

 

Laplace (1835)

See: Paddle, Robert N. (2014). Scientists and the Construction of the Thylacine's Extinction, pp. 143-158. In: Lang, Rebecca (ed.). The Tasmanian Tiger: Extinct or Extant? Hazelbrook, NSW: Strange Nation Publishing. 186 pp.

 

Pearson (1835)

Publication:

Pearson, J. T. (1835). Note on Thylacinus Cynocephalus. Extracted from the Osteological Section of the Catalogue of the Asiatic Society. The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 4(46): 572-574.
 

 

Author? (1836)*

Image:

 

Publication:

Lesson, René P. (1836). Histoire naturelle générale et particulière des mammifères et des oiseaux découverts depuis 1788 jusqu'à nos jours, Volume 10.

 

Archer (1836)

Text:

DOGS.— WANTED to PURCHASE, two good
Dogs ; they must be warranted to kill hyænas,
and to be free from the vice of attacking sheep. A
trial of the animals will be required.
Apply to Mr. Edward Archer, Panshanger,
near Perth.
June 8, 1836.

 

Publication:

Archer, Edward. (1836). Dogs. Launceston Advertiser, Thursday, 23 June, p. 1 |5|.

 

"Correspondent" (1836)

Text:

We have been requested to give publicity to the following manner of destroying wild dogs, tigers, devils, &c. the great enemies of the flocks of this Colony. When it is known that animals of the above decription are in the neighbourhood, a man on horse-back should drag a trail of some kind, either a paunch, or any stinking animal flesh; this trail should extend some distance, and be made in the form of a cross, in the centre of which cross poisoned meat or traps may be-laid. Great care should, be taken (by the person making the trap not to touch the ground, or the meat, or the trap, for the vermin scenting the human touch would not come near. When the trap or poisoned meat is prepared, the dogs or other vermin when beginning to hunt at night will come upon one of the cross trails, and will most certainly hunt about the line till they come to the trap or meat. Dogs, and indeed all wild animals are more acute in their scent and hearing than are those domesticated, and the success of the plan depends principally on the caution employed. The devil and tiger are most ravenous, and will soon fall upon the poisoned meat, or into the trap, whereas the dog must be extremely keen set before he will do so, especially as swift and large dogs are in the habit of [text missing due to paper fold] seldom returning to take second repast off the same car-case. The wild dog being however such a destroyer of sheep is worth a little trouble to get rid of, and should it be found that no poisoned bait will tempt him, and that he is too cunning for a pit-fall or man trap, you have a certainty of a shot at him if you will keep sheltered from the sight at a gun-shot distance from the trail, taking care not to cross the trail, and to be to the leeward. It is natural for all vermin to hunt on such a scent as above described, and although they will sometimes smell and turn over the food without eating, still you may depend as a certainty on shooting or trapping. Of course success is more likely to follow, if the neighbouring flocks are well watched, or taken from that part of the run, for then the voracious appetites of the vermin render them much more daring than where fresh fat mutton is to be had for a run. It is needless to remark that this plan costs little or nothing, and it is a common method of destroying vermin in several parts of the continent, there can be no reason why it should not succeed equally as well in Van Diemen's Land.—Thousands of foxes are in some parts of France annually killed in this manner, as are also wolves; and surely, if the cunning fox can be so trapped, the stupid tiger or the thick headed devil would be more easily ensnared. We have however given publicity to the plan, and the sheep owners will, if they try, find it more effectual than all the dog acts that could he framed in preserving their sheep from the ravages of the Vermin.

 

Publication:

"Correspondent". (1836). ["The devil and tiger are most ravenous"]. Colonial Times, Tuesday, 6 September, p. 7.

 

Gunn (1836)

Gunn, Ronald Campbell, letter 16 November 1836.

 

Martin (1836)

Text:

The hyæna opossum, or tiger, is very destructive among flocks, and sometimes measures six feet from the snout to the tail. It is beautifully striped with black and white on the back, and the belly and sides are of a grey colour. Its mouth resembles that of a wolf, with huge jaws, opening almost to the ears. The legs are short in proportion to the body, and it has a sluggish appearance ; but in running, it bounds like a kangaroo, though not with such speed. The female carries its young in a pouch, like most of the other quadrupeds of the country. (p. 283-284)

 

Publication:

Martin, Robert Montgomery. (1836). History of Austral-Asia: Comprising New South Wales, Van Diemen's Island, Swan River, South Australia, &c. London: Whittaker & Co.

 

Errors by other authors:

Paddle (2000:257) erroneously gives the year of publication as 1839.

References

Paddle, Robert N. (2000). The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Oakleigh, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. x + 273 pp.

 

Schayer (1836-1842)

Schayer, A. Letters dating from 1836-1842.

 

Cuvier (1837)*

Image:

 

Publication:

Cuvier, Georges [Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier]. (1837). Le Regne Animal d'apres son Organisation, pour Servir de Base a l'Histoire Naturealle des Animaux. 3' edition (Disciples edition). Paris: Fortin, Masson, 1836-49. (Livraison 28 [Mammiferes 5 1 1837).

 

Cuvier & Duméril (1837)

Publication:

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=WosTAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA208&lpg=PA208&dq=Thylacine+a+tete+de+Chie&source=bl&ots=QFxx8n9YbD&sig=ACfU3U1r-E_Dj2nKl4_Kyb2Lkc7pgoghWw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi73-6Cre7kAhXEfd4KHTuBCv04ChDoATADegQICRAB#v=onepage&q=Thylacine%20a%20tete%20de%20Chie&f=false [p. 208, 399]

 

Gunn (1837)

Text:

The Thylacinus cynocephalus is called in Van Diemen's Land indiscriminately by the names of Tiger and Hyæna. It is common in the more remote parts of the colony, and they are accordingly often caught at Woolnorth and the Hampshire Hills. I have seen some so very large and powerful, that a number of dogs will not face one. They are usually nocturnal in their attacks on sheep, but they also move about in the day time; and upon those occasions, perhaps from their rather imperfect vision by day, their pace is very slow. A number of skins could be procured if much wanted, or their skulls perhaps more easily. In Murray's Ency. of Geography it is stated, p. 1485, that its tail is compressed, which suggests the supposition that it is used in swimming. The tail is not compressed, neither is it at all aquatic in its habits. They are most numerous inland, and when I was recently at the Hampshire Hills two were caught in one week at the sheep, twenty miles from the sea. As to their feeding on fish, I hardly know how it could have been ascertained, unless the fish had been previously caught and given to one, when, like many carnivorous quadrupeds, it is probably it would eat them. Deductions are frequently too hastily drawn by naturalists (or persons professing to be such) from isolated facts. That Thylacinus may often be seen on the sea-coast, as also every other species of our quadrupeds, is quite probable, and may once or twice have been seen eating a dead fish thrown up by the sea; but as to its fishing, it is out of the question.

 

Publication:

Gunn, Ronald Campbell. (1837). Letter to Sir William Hooker, 31/3/1837. In: Burns, T. E. and Skemp, J. R. (eds.). (1961). Van Diemen's Land Correspondents. Launceston: Queen Victoria Museum.

Gunn, Ronald Campbell. (1838). Notices accompanying a collection of quadrupeds and fish from Van Diemen's Land. By Ronald Gunn, Esq., addressed to Sir W. J. Hooker, and by him transmitted to the British Museum. With Notes and Descriptions of the new species. By J. E. Gray, F. R. S., &c. Annals and Magazine of Natural History: Zoology, Botany and Geology 1: 101-111.

Gunn, Ronald Campbell. (1838). [title?]. Notizen aus dem Gebiete der Natur- und Heilkunde, gesammelt u ..., 57: 113-114.

 

Murray (1837)*

Image and Text:

The Dog-faced Opossum (Thylacinus cynocephalus Tem.) (fig. 902.) suggests the idea of a union of the dog and the panther; the fur is short and soft, yellowish brown, the sides of the body being marked by broad transverse stripes, which do not, however, extend to the belly; the tail is compressed, which suggests the supposition that it is used in swimming, particularly as this animal inhabits the rocks on the sea shore, and is known to feed upon fish. (p. 116)

 

Publication:

Murray, Hugh. (1837). An Encyclopædia of Geography [subtitle excluded], vol. 3. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea and Blanchard.

 

Owen (1837)

Owen, Richard. Letter 4 January 1837.

 

Artist unknown, in Lesson (1838)*

Image:

 

Publication:

Lesson, R. P. (1838). Compléments de Buffon (2nd edition). Paris: P. Pourrat Frères. [p 367?]

http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/art/illustration/image_25.htm

 

Discussion:

Thomas (1888:256) gives the year of publication as 1837.

 

 

Bonaparte (1838)

Publication:

Bonaparte, Carlo Luciano (Charles Lucian). (1838). Synopsis vertebratorum systematis. Nuovi Annali delle Scienze Naturali, Bolonga 2(1): 105-133. [partial copy]

 

Discussion:

Bonaparte supposedly erected the family Thylacinidae, but I have discovered that he did so six years earlier (Bonaparte, 1832).

 

Gunn (1838)

Gunn, Ronald Campbell. (1838). Notes of Dissection Performed at Hobart Town, March 23rd 1838, by Dr. Bedford.

 

Mitchell (1838)

Publication:

Mitchell, Thomas Livingstone. (1838). Three expeditions into the interior of eastern Australia, with descriptions of the recently explored region of Australia Felix, and of the present colony of New South Wales. London, T. and W. Boone. Vol. 1. xxi, 351 pp., 21 pIs. Vol. 2. viii, 405 pp., 30 pIs.

 

identical text to 2nd edition?

 

Mitchell, Thomas Livingstone. (1839). Three expeditions into the interior of eastern Australia, with descriptions of the recently explored region of Australia Felix, and of the present colony of New South Wales (2nd ed., carefully revised). London, T. and W. Boone. Vol. 1. xxi, 355 pp., 21 pIs. Vol. 2. ix, 415 pp., 30 pIs.

 

 

Oken (1838)

Publication:

Oken, Lorenz. (1838). Allgemeine Naturgeschichte für alle Stände, Volume 7, Parts 2-3. Stuttgart.

 

Owen (1838a)

Publication:

[Dec. 9, 1838.—A paper on the "Phascolotherium," being the second part of the "Description of the Remains of Marsupial Mammalia from the Stonesfield Slate," by Richard Owen, Esq., F.G.S., was read.]

Owen, Richard. (1839). Description of the Remains of Marsupial Mammalia from the Stonesfield Slate, part II. The London and Edinburgh philosophical magazine and journal of science (3) 14: 220-224.

German translation: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=9hc-AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA629&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiyg5H07ePjAhWB7HMBHfBXDFE4KBDoAQhAMAM#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false [p. 626-628]

 

Owen (1838b)

Publication:

Owen, Richard. (1838b). On the Osteology of the Marsupialia. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London [1838](6): 120-147. [p. 121, 134]

 

Waterhouse (1838)

Text:

624. Dog-headed Thylacinus..... Habitat Australia.

Thylacinus Harrisii. Temm.

Presented by Charles Barclay, Esq.

 

Publication:

Waterhouse, George Robert. (1838). Catalogue of the Mammalia Preserved in the Museum of the Zoological Society of London, 2nd edition. London. [p. 64]

 

D.S.N. (1839)

Text:

TILACINO, sm. Thylacinus. Sottogenere di marsupiali, del gen. dasiuro, colle borse molto piccole.

 

Publication:

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=zAxaAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA1729&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPhr2f9-XjAhWU6XMBHVZbBzo4PBDoAQhaMAc#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

Discussion:

Tilacino, Italian for the thylacine

 

Long (1839)

Text:

The Thylacinus cynocephalus, or large Dog-faced Opossum, he [i.e. Harris] observes, utters 'a short guttural cry, and appears exccedingly inactive and stupid, having, like the owl, an lmost constant motion with the nictitating membrane of the eye' (p. 454)

...

Thylacinus. (Temminck.)

Generic character.—Dental Formula: —Incisors 8/6,

Canines 1-1/1-1, Molars 7-7/7-7 = 46. The incisors are ranged in a semicircle, equal, and separated in the middle in each jaw by a vacant space; the external incisor on each side is the stoutest; the canines are of considerable size, curved and pointed like those of the Cats and Dogs; the last molars are armed with three obtuse tubercles, resembling those of the two groups of Carnivora last mentioned. Toes five on each fore-foot and four on each hind-foot.

Example, Thylacinus cynocephalus (Dasyurus cynocephalus of Geoffroy, Thylacinus Harrisii of Temminck).

Description.—Size of a young wolf; the short smooth hair of a dusky yellowish-brown above, barred or zebraed on the lower part of the back and rump with about sixteen jet-black transverse stripes, broadest on the back and gradually tapering downwards, two of which extend a considerable way down the thighs. The ground-colour on the back inclines to blackish gray. Tail much compressed and tapering to a point.

Habits and Locality.—Mr. Harris, from whose paper in 'Linn. Trans.' our description and figure are taken states that this species, the largest of the Australian Carnivora, inhabits amongst caverns and rocks in the deep and almost impenetrable glens in the neighbourhood of the highest mountainous parts of Van Diemen's Land, where it probably preys upon the brush (bush?) Kangaroo and various small animals that abound in those places. The individual from which the description and drawing were taken was caught in a trap baited with Kangaroo-flesh. It remained alive but a few hours, and during that period uttered the cry and presented the appearance quoted by Mr. Owen. In its stomach were found the partly-digested remains of a Porcupine Ant-Eater (Echidna aculeata). The vulgar names for this species are, the Zebra Opossum, Zebra Wolf, &c. (p. 455)

 

Publication:

Long, George (ser. ed.). (1839). The Penny Cyclopædia. Vol. XIV: Limonia—Massachusetts. London: Charles Knight. [p. 454,455]

 

Discussion:

Much of the Description section was later used, with minimal changes, by (Knight, 1849).

Other references:

Knight, Charles. (1849). Sketches in Natural History: History of the Mammalia. Vol. 1. Order—Carnivora: Families—Felidæ and Ursidæ. Order: Marsupialia. London: C. Cox.

 

 

M. (1839)*

Image and text:

 

 

To the marsupiate carnivora would be then referable the extraordinary animal figured at the head of this article; it is the dog-headed opossum, and constitutes the sole species as yet known of the genus thylacinus of Temminck. In general aspect, habits, and manners, the dog-headed opossum (Thylacinus cynocephalus) is a wolf; indeed, the zebra wolf is one of the names under which it is known to the colonists of Van Diemen's Land, the stripes over the back suggesting the cognomen of zebra.

In size, this savage animal fully equals a half-grown wolf; its height at the shoulders being about one foot ten inches, and its total length five feet ten inches, of which the tail is about two feet. The head is large and muscular, and resembles that of a wolf, except that the ears, though erect, are rounded, and the mouth is cleft much deeper than in that animal, extending beyond the eyes. The teeth are large and formidabel, the canines being upwards of an inch in length. The incisors are eight in the upper, and six in the lower jaws; the molares seven on each side, both above and below. The eyes are large, full, and black, having a nictitant membrane for their protection against the light of the sun; and their expression adds an uncommon degree of malignant ferocity to the general aspect of the countenance. The body is stout and muscular, but of an elongated contour, which is rendered more apparent by the shortness of the legs, which, however, are thick and strong. The toes are five on each foot before; the hinder feet are four-toed; the claws are black, short, and blunt; the tail is compressed, tapering to a point, and is covered with short smooth hair. The fur on the body is soft, some-what short, and of a dirty greyish brown; on the lower part of the back run fifteen or sixteen black transverse stripes, broadest on the spine, whence they run to a point on the flanks and thighs.

The first notice of the dog-headed opossum, occurs in the ninth volume of the Linnæan Transactions, in a paper by G. P. Harris, Esq., and communicated by the Right Hon. Sir Joseph Banks. The writer of the paper alluded to, observes, that on dissecting one of these animals, the remains of a porcupine anteater (Echidna histrix) were found in the stomach. He observes, also, that "the history of this new and singular quadruped is at present but little known. Only two specimens (both males) have yet been taken. It inhabits amongst caverns and rocks in the deep and almost impenetrable glens in the neighbourhoos of the highest mountainous parts of Van Diemen's Land, where it probably preys on the bush kangaroo, and various small animals that abound in those places. That from which this description and the drawing accompanying it were taken, was caught in a trap baited with kangaroo flesh. It remained alive but a few hourse, having received some internal hurt in securing it. It from time to time uttered a short guttural cry, and appeared exceedingly stupid and inactive; having, like the owl, an almost continual motion with the nictitant membrane of the eye."

Since this communication, which was made in 1808, little has been added to our information on the particular habits of dog-headed opossums. It is, however, decidedly nocturnal, losing in the congenial darkness of night the stupidity which is occasioned during the day by the distressing glare of the sunshine. It now steals abroad in quest of prey, and makes havoc not only among the bush kangaroos, and other small animals, but among the sheep and lambs of the colonist. Its favourite haunts are the caverns and dark recesses of rocks which border the sea, and crustacea and shellfish are among its habitual food. It has never, we believe, been brought alive to Europe, nor indeed are its skins common in museums; most probably it is scarce in its native climate, or difficult to be obtained, owing to the remote and inaccesible nature of its haunts.

The scattered information which we have been able to glean respecting the habits of this animal, confirm the account given by Harris, and tend to prove that it is by far the most powerful and ferocious of all marsupial quadrupeds. It is, in fact, a marsupial wolf, having all the voracious propensities, and the cautious, crafty manners of that celebrated destroyer of the flock. As, however, the structure of its organs of vision sufficiently indicates, it is explusively nocturnal, which is not the case with the wolf; for though the dusk of evening and the darkness of night are certainly favourable to his predatory excursions, he sees well by day, and in thinly people countries, hunts as boldly by day as by night. Not so with the dog-headed opossum. In solitude and in silence it slumbers in its obscure recess, till the day light is faded; then, rousing up from its lair, and shrouded by the gloom of night, it ventures from its retreat, and roams aborad; cautiously and without noise it steals on its prey, and gluts itself with food. With the dawn of light it retires to its wonted haunts, and there sleeps away the time till night again recalls it to activity.

 

Publication:

M. (1839). The Dog-headed Opossum, pp. 418-420. In: The Visitor, or, Monthly Instructor For 1839. London: The Religious Tract Society.

 

Owen (1839)

Text:

Genus 1. Thylacinus.

Incisors 4-4/3-3; canines 1-1/1-1; præmolars 3-3/3-3; molares 4-4/4-4: = 46.

The incisors are of equal length, and regularly arranged in the segment of a circle with an interspace in the middle of the series of both jaws. The external incisor on each side is the strongest. The laniary or canine teeth are long, strong, curved, and pointed, like those of the dog tribe.

The spurious molares are of a simple, blunt, conical form, each with two roots; the last with a small additional posterior cusp. The true molares in the upper jaw are unequally triangular with three tubercles. Those in the lower jaw are compressed, tricuspidate, the middle cusp being the longest, especially in the two last molares, which resemble closely the sectorial teeth (dens carnassiers) of the Dog and Cat. The fore feet are 5-digitate, the hind feet 4-digitate.

On the fore foot the middle digit is the longest, the internal one or pollex the shortest, but the difference is slight. On the hind foot the two middle toes are of nearly equal length and longer than the two lateral toes, which are equal. All the toes are armed with strong, blunt, and almost straight claws. The only known species of this genus, the Thylacine (Thylacinus Harrisii, Didelphys Cynocephalus, Harris), is a native of Van Diemen's Land, and is called by the colonists the 'Hyæna.'

 

Publication:

Owen, Richard. (1839). On the Classification and Affinities of the Marsupial Animals. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 7: 5-19. [alternative title, from the contents page: Outlines of a Classification of the Marsupialia]

 

Varin (1839)*

Image:

 

Publication:

Guérin-Méneville, Félix-Edouard. (1839). Dictionnaire pittoresque d'histoire naturelle et des phénomènes de la nature. Pl. 690. [plate]

 

Woolnorth (1839)

Text:

Year Month Sheep Loss Predator
1839 May 1 Thylacine

 

Publication:

Van Diemen's Land Company records.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp. [p. 230]

 

Anonymous (1840)

Text:

Thylacinus Harrisii, Hyæna of the colonist.
Of this species the skeletons of the male and female, detached skulls, an entire specimen in the saline solution for dissection, the viscera, and more especially the impregnated uterus, and a young specimen for the changes in dentition, are particularly desirable; such specimens not having been as yet transmitted to the museums of this country or on the Continent.

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1840). Instructions In Zoology and Animal Physiology, for the British Antarctic Expedition. The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal... XXVIII: 72-76.

 

Bonaparte (1840)

Publication:

Bonaparte, Carlo Luciano (Charles Lucian). (1840). A new systematic arrangement of vertebrated animals. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London (1) 18: 247-304. [p. 257-258]

 

Cuvier (1840)

Text:

The Thylacines (Thylacinus, Tem.)—
Are the largest of this first division: they are distinguished from the Opossums by the hind-feet having no thumb, by a hairy and not prehensile tail, and two incisors less to each jaw; their molars are of the same number. They have accordingly forty-six teeth; but the external edge of the three large ones is projecting and trenchant, almost like the carnivorous tooth of a Dog: their ears are hairy, and of middle size.

But one [living] species is known, a native of Van Diemen's Land.—Size that of a [small] Wolf, but lower on the legs; of a greyish colour, barred with black across the crupper (Did. cynocephala, Harris). It is very carnivorous, and pursues all small quadrupeds. [This animal does not fish, as has been stated; nor is its tail compressed: it is principally nocturnal, and is called Tiger and Hyæna in its native island.] A fossil species of Thylacine has been found in the gypsum quarries of Paris. (p. 103)

 

Publication:

Cuvier, Georges [Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier]. (1840). Cuvier's Animal Kingdom... London: W. M. S. Orr and Co.

 

Discussion:

The last sentence, referring to Thylacinus fossils dug up in Paris, is clearly in error. It is addressed by (Owen, 1843).

 

Murray (1840)*

Image:

 

Publication:

Murray, Hugh. (1840). Encyclopaedia of Geography. London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green and Longmans.

 

Pearson (1840)

Publication:

Pearson, J. T. (1840). Zoological Catalogue of the Museum of the Asiatic Society. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 9(101): 514-530. [p. 524]

 

Schinz (1840)*

Image:

 

Publication:

Schinz, H. R. (1840). Naturgeschichte und Abbildungen der Menschen und der Saugethiere.

 

Woolnorth (1840)

Text:

Year Month Sheep Loss Predator
1840 April 1 Thylacine
  May 1 Thylacine
  Sept. 2 Thylacine

 

Publication:

Van Diemen's Land Company records.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp. [p. 230]

 

Gloger (1841)

Publication:

Gloger, C. W. L. (1841). Gemeinnütziges Hand- und Hilfsbuch der Natugeschichte. Für gebildete Leser aller Stände, besonders für die reifere Jugend und ihre Lehrer. Erster Band, enthaltend die erste Hälfte der Thiere, nebst erfahrungsmassigen Andeutungen über den gege wärtigen Zustand und Erfolg des Unterrichts in dieser Wissenschaft, namentlich auf Gymnasien, und Vorschlägen über fernere Einrichtung desselben im Verhältnisse zu seinem wirklichen Zwicke. Hefte 1-2 Breslau : A. Schulz & Co. 160 pp. [p. 82?]

 

Errors by other authors:

Guiler & Godard (1998:15) list Gloger's surname as "Glober".

 

Gray (1841)

Publication:

Gray, John Edward. (1841). Contributions towards the Geographical distribution of the Mammalia of Australia, with notes on some recently discovered species, by J. E. Gray, F.R.S., &c. &c, in a letter addressed to the Author. In: Grey, George. Journals of two expeditions of discovery in north-west and western Australia: during the years 1837, 38, and 39, under the authority of Her Majesty's government. Describing many newly discovered, important, and fertile districts, with observations on the moral and physical condition of the aboriginal inhabitants, &c., &c, Volume 2. London: T. and W. Boone. [p. 400]

 

 

Ogilby (1841)

Text:

for, I think, that there are strong grounds for believing that the Dingo, or native dog, the only solitary exception which can be adduced against the universality of this position, is not an aboriginal inhabitant of the continent, but a subsequent importation, in all probability contemporary with the primitive settlement of the natives. Many circumstances might be advanced in support of this opinion; the simple fact of his anomaly is itself a strong corroboration of it; and his absence from the continguous islands of Tasmania and New Zealand*, inhabited by races of human beings differing in language and origin from the natives of Continental Australia, appears almost to demonstrate his introduction from the north, where he is found in New Guinea, in Timor, in many of the smaller groups scattered throughout the Pacific Ocean, and in all the great islands of the Indian Archipelago. The extirpation of the Thylacinus Harrisii and Dasyurus Ursinus from the continental portion of Australia, is a strong corroboration of this supposition. It is contrary to all the principles of Zoological philosophy, and to what we already know of the laws which regulate the geographical distirbution of animals, to suppose that these species, two of the largest Mammals in that part of the world, should have been originally confined to so small an island as Tasmania, to the exclusion of the neighbouring continent. The more probably theory is, that they were extirpated from the latter locality by the introduction of some more powerful adversary: this could have been no other than the native dog, to whose attacks these two species were more peculiarly exposed, from being the slowest, most cowardly, and least protected animals in the country. (p. 121-122)


* The dog is at present found in New Zealand, but is believed to have been introduced by the early navigators; in Van Diemen's Land he was absolutely unknown previously to the settlement of the British colonists at Hobart's Town.

 

Publication:

Ogilby, W. (1841). Notice of certain Australian quadrupeds, belonging to the order Rodentia. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 18: 121-132.

 

Owen (1841a)

Publication:

Owen, Richard. (1841). Marsupialia. Cyclopedia of Anatomy and Physiology. London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans & Roberts. 74 pp.

 

Owen (1841b)

Text:

At the present day this animal exists only in Van Diemen's Land, though formerly it had a much more extensive geographical distribution. For his knowledge of the anatomy of this animal, Mr. Owen stated that he was indebted to Sir John Franklin, who had kindly preserved and sent him a specimen in spirit, and he believed this was the only specimen extant in Europe. In its habits it was carnivorous; holding about the same relation to the other Marsupialia that the digitigrade Carnivora did the placental Mammalia. It was a great pest to the shepherd in its native districts; and in its low intellectual character, and its craft and cunning, very much resembled the wolf. In destroying sheep it does not feed on them at once, but proceeds to worry, of possible, the whole flock, first tearing one and then another. Its smell is very powerful. It has a narrow head, a large number of incisor teeth, with the molars more numerous and uniform in size and shape than in the wolf. The incisors are of equal length and regularly arranged in the segment of a circle, with an interspace in the middle of the series of both jaws. The external incisors on each side are the strongest. The laniary or canine teeth are long, strong, curved and pointed, like those of the dog tribe. The spurious molars in this, as in all other Marsupials, have two roots; their crown presents a simple compressed conical form, with a posterior tubercle, which is most developed in the hindmost. The true molars in the upper jaw are unequally triangular, the last being much smaller than the rest; the exterior part of the crown is raised into one large pointed middle cusp and two lateral smaller cusps obscurely developed; a small strong obtuse cusp projects from the inner side of the crown. The molars of the lower jaw are compressed, tricuspidate, the middle cusp being the longest, especially in the two last molars, which resemble closely the sectorial teeth (dents carnassiers) of the dog and cat. The following is the dental formula of the Thylacinus:—incisors 4/3 - 4/3; canines 1/1 - 1/1; premolars 3/3 - 3/3; molars 4/4 - 4/4; = 46. Its bony palate is very defective, thus presenting a lower organization than any of the Carnivora of Europe. Its internal organization agrees with that of Dasyurus and Phascogale, being, as in these carnivorous Marsupials, destitute of a cæcum: it differs from Dasyurus and resembles Phascogale in having the internal condyle of the humerus perforated. It has the pouch so decidedly characteristic of the whole order of these animals. The reason of the existence of this pouch may be able to enable the animal to carry its young great distances more easily, as it was obliged to travel far, in seasons of drought, in search of water. The pouch is usually limited to the female; but in Thylacinus a rudiment of the pouch exists in the full-grown male. (p. 70-71)

 

Publication:

Owen, Richard. (1842). Account of a Thylacinus, the great Dog-headed Opossum, one of the rarest and largest of the Marsupiate family of Animals. Report of the Eleventh Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; held at Plymouth in July 1841. London: John Murray. [p. 70-71]

 

Owen (1841c)

Publication:

Owen, Richard. (1841c). Outlines of a Classification of the Marsupialia. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London 2(4): 315-333. [p. 316-317]

 

Owen (1841d)

Publication:

Owen, Richard. (1841d). On the Osteology of the Marsupialia. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London 2: 379-408. [p. 408]

 

Waterhouse (1841)*

Image and text:

 

Such names as Native Hyæna and Tyger, Spotted Marten, Native Cat, Native Devil, Bandicoot, &c. only tend to keep up erroneous notions. The Native Hyæna has no affinities with the real Hyæna,... (p. 74)

[...]

THE THYLACINUS

Thylacinus cynocephalus

Plate V.

Didelphys cynocephalus, Harris. Linnæn Transactions, ix. p. 174, Pl. 19.
Dasyurus cynocephalus, Geoff. Ann. du Mus. xv., p. 304.
Thylacinus Harrisii Temminck. Monogr.
Nearly equal to a wolf in size ; head like that of a dog ; tail rather slender, about half the length of the body ; fur short; general colour pale brown; numerous transverse black marks on the back and haunches.

The ears are rather short, somewhat pointed, and very broad at the base, well clothed with hairs both internally and externally; on the outer side the hairs are coloured like those of the upper part of the head, excepting towards the tip where they are paler; on the inner side the hairs are brown-white, slightly inclining to yellowish, those on the fore part are extremely long—upwards of one inch in length; the fur is short, the average length about 8 lines, rather harsh but somewhat woolly ; all the hairs are waved: the general colour is pale brown with an obscure yellow wash; on the back and haunches are numerous transverse black, or brown-black bands; these bands commence a little behind the shoulders, and at first are narrow and indistinct; towards the middle of the back they become broader, and the spaces between the bands are scarcely broader than the bands themselves; over the haunches and rump, where the dark bands are broadest, they exceed the interspaces in width. The anterior bands do not extend on to the sides of the body, but those over the haunches are rather more extended in a lateral direction: the last band but two runs down on to the outer side of the thigh; the penultimate band forms three parts of a circle; the last one crosses the root of the tail: the number of bands is about 17. The tail* is thick at the base, where it is covered with somewhat woolly fur like that of the body,† the space occupied by this fur, is about three inches in length,—beyond this, the tail is covered with very short, stiff, and closely adpressed hairs, which on the under surface pale brown: on the apical portion of the tail, beneath,

* In two skins I find the tail somewhat compressed.
† In this respect reminding us of the species of Didelphys.

the hairs are comparatively long—that is, they are about half an inch in length, or rather more,—and at the tip they form a small tuft; these longer hairs are of the same colour as those on other parts of tail, but at the tip they are blackish: one distinct broad transverse mark is observable, crossing the base of the tail above, and beyond this there are faint tracings of one or two narrow dark marks. The general tint of the head is rather paler than that of the body ; on the cheeks and above the eyes, the hairs are whitish brown ; immediately in front of the eye is a smallish black patch ; connected with this is a narrow black line which runs over the eye and becomes rathe[r?] broader at the posterior angle ; the muzzle is dusky ; the hairs one the edge of the upper lip are white. The chin, throat, chest, belly and inner side of the limbs are brown-white ; the limbs externally, and the feet, scarcely differ in tint from the upper parts of the body. The fur on the back and sides of the body, is of a deep brown-colour next the skin; the hairs are very pale yellowish-brown, inclining to brown-white, (excepting those which form the dark bands,) towards the apex, and brown or blackish at the apex, blackish on the back, and brownish on the sides of the body: on the belly the hairs are also brown at the base, but rather paler than those of the back, externally they are brown-white. The sole of the fore-feet, and underside of the toes, is devoid of hair and exceedingly rough ; a narrow naked space extends from the great pad at the base of the toes, (which is divided into three portions by somewhat shallow indentations) to the wrist; on the underside of the hind-foot, these is a narrow naked portion extending from the heel to the great pad at the base of the toes, which is also naked as well as the underside of the toes. The claws of the fore and hind-feet are about equal in size; they are short, thick, but slightly compressed, nearly solid and of a brown-black colour. Hairs of the moustaches numerous, rather long and of a black colour.

The hairs in the region of the pouch of the female are of a deep rust colour.

Length from nose to root of tail, (measuring over the curve of the back) 2 feet 9 inches,—measuring in a straight line, about 2 feet 3 inches ; length of tail, 14 inches ; tarsus, 5 inches 3 lines ; from tip of muzzle to base of ear, 6 inches; from tip of muzzle to eye, 3 inches four lines ; length of ear, 2 inches ; width of do. at base, 2 inches 6 lines ; length of skull, 6 inches 8 lines ; width 3 inches 10 lines ; length of palate, 3 inches 9 lines.

The above description is taken from a specimen in the Museum of the Zoological Society. A skin recently presented to that Society by Mr. Everett, has evidently belonged to a much larger specimen, approaching in size that described by Harris in the Linnæn Transactions, which measured from the top of the muzzle to the end of the tail, 5 feet 10 inches, of which the tail is about 2 feet ; height of the fore part of the shoulders, 1 foot 10 inches ; of hind part 1 foot 11 inches. A specimen noticed by M. Temminck was nearly six feet in length, including the tail. Mr. Harris, who saw the animal alive, says the eyes are large, full, and of a black colour, that the tail is much compressed and tapering to a point and that the sides and under parts are bare as if worn by friction, not prehensile. As regards the compressed form of the tail, my observations confirm those of Mr. Harris ; I have, however, only seen one, in which the flesh dried. Mr. Gunn, in the Magazine of Natural History, says the tail is not compressed. The apical portion appears [i]much[/i] compressed, but this arises from the long hairs with whichit is furnished on the under side.

The Thylacinus inhabits Van Diemen's Land where it is called the Tiger, Hyæna, and used formerly to be known among the colonists by the names, Zebra-Opossum, and Zebra-Wolf.

Of the habits of this animal Mr. Harris states, "It inhabits amongst caverns and rocks in the deep and almost impenetrable glens in the neighbourhood of the highest mountainous parts of Van Diemen's Land, where it probably preys on the Brush Kangaroo, and various small animals that abound in those places. The from which this description, (Mr. Harris's,) and the drawing accompanying it, were taken, was caught ina trap baited with Kangaroo flesh. It remained alive but a few hours, having received some internal hurt in securing it. It from time to time uttered a short guttural cry, and appeared exceedingly inactive and stupid ; having, like the owl, an almost continual motion of the nictilant membrane of the eye.

"On dissecting this quadruped, nothing particular was observed in the formation of its viscera, &c. differing from others of its genus. (Mr. Harris considers it a Didelphys.) The stomach contained the partly digestes remains of a porcupine ant-eater," Echidna hystrix.

Mr. Gunn* observes that the Thylacinus is common in the more remote parts of the colony, and is often caught at Woolnorth and Hampshire hills. It usually attacks sheep in the night, but is also seen during the day time; upon which occasions, perhaps from its imperfect vision by day, its pace is very slow.

* See Annals of Natural History for 1838, vol. i., p. 101. (p. 123-128)

 

Publication:

Waterhouse, George Robert. (1841). Marsupialia, or Pouched Animals (Mammalia, vol. XI). In: Jardine, William (ser. ed.). The Naturalist's Library (vol. XXIV). Edinburgh: W.H. Lizars / London: Henry G. Bohn. xvi + 324 pp.

Anonymous. (1842). Review.  Port Phillip Patriot and Melbourne Advertiser (Victoria),  Monday, 16 May, p. 4 |2|. [small quote only from p. 74]

Waterhouse, 1843

 

Woolnorth (1841)

Text:

Year Month Sheep Loss Predator
1841 Aug. 4 Thylacine

 

Publication:

Van Diemen's Land Company records.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp. [p. 230]

 

Anonymous (1842a)

Text:

Tiger   Lowerinna (Northern.)

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1842). Aboriginal languages of Tasmania. Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, Agriculture, Statistics, &c. 1(4): 308-318. [page 308]

 

Anonymous (1842b)

Text:

Thylacinus, Temm. One species. (p. 83)

Genus Thylacinus, Temm. Distinguished from the preceding by the want of a thumb on the hinder extremities, the tail covered with hair and not prehensile, and two incisors less in each jaw. The ears are of moderate size, and haired.

This genus has been instituted for the reception of a single species from Van Diemen's Land, described by Mr. Harris, under the name of Dasyurus cynocephalus3. It is the Thylacinus Harrisii of Temminck.4 This animal is as larhe as a wolf, though somewhat lower in the legs, and may be regarded as the strongest and largest of all the flesh-eating species of Australia. It is of a greyish colour, with transverse bands of black on the hinder parts of the body. The head is large, and resembles that of a dog. It dwells among rocks and caverns, in the deep and almost inaccessible glens in the vicinity of the highest mountains of its native island, and is said to prey upon the brush kangaroo and other quadrupeds. Some authors allege that it feeds on Ornithorhynchi, Echidnæ, and crabs, and that its compressed tail gives it great power and activity as a swimmer. But we find nothing of this kind given by its original describer, who does not even mention it as a littoral species, although M. Temminck, and in his wake subsequent compilers, make it inhabit rocks by the sea shore. It may do so, but the fact is not stated by Mr Harris. (p. 127)

 

3 Linn. Trans. vol. ix. pl. 19.

4 Monog. de. Mamm. t. i. p. 60.

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1842). Order III.—Marsupialia. The Encyclopædia Britannica, Or, Dictionary of Arts, Sciences ..., Vol. 14. Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black. [p. 83, 127]

 

Anonymous (1842c)

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1842). Fossil bones. The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday, 8 October, p. 2.

 

Anonymous (1842d)

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1842). Errata in the former articles. The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 26 October, p. 2.

 

Author? (1842)

Text:

"[a] species whose term of existence seems to be fast waning to its close" (Guiler & Godard, 1998:84)

Discussion:

From an 1842 report according to (Guiler & Godard, 1998:84).

 

Lesson (1842)

Publication:

Lesson, René Primevère. (1842). Nouveau tableau du règne animal: Mammifères. Paris: Arthur Bertrand. [p. 190]

 

Author? (1843)

Text:

English translation by Claus Christian Brehm Castedo

Thylacinus. The Pouched Wolf:
Rostrum elongatum; pedes anteriores 5 dactyli; posteriors 4 dactyli; ungues validi; cauda mediocris; apicem versus compressa; subtus lateribusque nuda.
The Pouch Wolf (Thylacinus Temm.) is the biggest predator in this order, almost the size of a Wolf but lower because of shorter legs. His head has a very similar shape to dogs or wolfs. Snout is also similar to a dog, ears mid-size and hairy, the mouth goes until under it eyes.
Foods are similar to other carnivorous marsupials, posterior legs with 5 and posterior legs with 4 toes, on the back legs the “Thumbs” are missing. On all feet the middle finger is the longest. On the back feet, the 2 middle fingers are slightly longer than the exterior ones. The sole don’t present hair, the toes armed with strong and straight but not sharp claws. The tail is mid long, according to Temmints comments “rounded at the root, contracted in the mid-section and flattened at the end, it looks like a rolled plate that is rounded at the end and very hairy at the root, the central section, at least the under site is hairless, the upper part has a thin strip of longer hairs. Fur hairs are short and smooth, Hair on the head and neck are the longest. Same as the tail, the denture is different than other carnivore marsupials. In total 46 teeth are present, 8/6 incisors, 1/1 edge, 3/3 premolars and 4/4 molars. Incisors are on a not very pronounced bow, having an empty space in the middle and the exterior pair are the largest. The edge teeth are long, strong and curved, as by dogs. The premolars are simple, very close to each other with 2 roots each, the posterior one has a little extra root on the back part. Molars are more spaced on the upper jaw, more close on the lower one. They are wide, the middle tooth is the longest, resembling remarkably to dog or cats canines. The skull has the aspect of a dog or opossum skull, very elongated, especially the snout portion, with narrow middle part and widening again at the end. The forehead is wide and rhomboidal, the zygomatic arch strong and elongated. The crest section is regular, getting larger to the back.
Only one species is known. Color of the fur is, according to Temmints comments yellowish brown grey with shadows of olive and more or less sprinkled with black dots, the ends of the hairs are therefore yellowish or black. On top of the head, shoulders and the back black if the main color, cheeks and the underside of the extremities are yellow as well as the areas between the black stripes at the back. 16 back stripes cover the back and the tail root. Covering the back legs, two stripes on the tail. Those stripes are connected with a black stripe that runs on the top part of the spine.
The lower jaw is whitish, the front part of the neck, the chest, the belly and the inner site of the legs are clear grey changing to a darker grey to the after. The scrotum area is reddish. The length, including the tail is indicated by Temmin as 5’2’’ to 6’’.
Length:
Body: 3’7’’8’’’, Tail: 1’7’’2’’’, Head: 0’8’’11’’’, Ear: 0’3’’6’’’, Back height: 1’4’’7’’;, Shoulder height: 1’5’’7’’’
Natural distribution is the Van Diemens Land, where the Thylacinus in the colonies received the names of Tiger or Hyena. He lives usually inner land, coming to the coast occasionally. He isn’t very active during the days, hunting in the afternoons smaller animals and became a treat to sheep since they have been brought to the colonies. He is not a water animal, as suggested by Geoffroy, nonetheless he usually eats crabs, fish, seals and other sea animals.
 

Publication:

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=Sc1cAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA16&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiHj9X97OXjAhWT6XMBHcTcCVA4KBDoAQhdMAc#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false [p. 18-20]

 

Thylacinus Harrissii

 

Backhouse (1843)

Text:

Upon one part of the beach, sandstone and coal were visible; and in several places, we saw the footprints of the Tasmanian Tiger, and the Bush Devil, which had been in search of fish cast up by the sea.

 

Publication:

Backhouse, James. (1843). A Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies. London: Hamilton, Adams.

 

Discussion:

This is the earliest known usage of the common name "Tasmanian Tiger". It is also one of the handful of records of the species in the littoral zone.

 

Errors by other authors:

Guiler & Godard (1998:242) incorrectly give the title as "Account of a visit to the Australian Colonies".

 

Dyer (1843[a,b,c?])

Publication:

Dyer, S. J. Letters dated 31/3/1843; 30/4/1843; 30/6/1843, Archives Office of Tasmania

 

Gibson (1843[a,b...?])

Gibson, J. A. Letters from May to September, 1843, Archives Office of Tasmania.

 

Gray (1843)

Text:

Peracyon, Gray . . . . 97
Thylacinus, part, Temm.
Lycaon, Wagler (not Less.). (p. xxii)

...

The Tasmanian Wolf. Paracyon cynocephalus. Didelphis cynocephalus,Harris,Linn. Trans. ix. t. 19.f.1. Thylacinus Harrisii, Temm. Mon. 63. t. 7. f. 1—4. Dasyurus leucocephalus, Grant, Gleanings of Science, iii, 117,.?
a. and b. Van Diemen's Land.—Presented by Ronald Gunn, Esq. (p. 97)

...

Peracyon, xxii. 97. (p. 212)

 

Publication:

Gray, John Edward. (1843). List of the specimens of Mammalia in the collection of the British Museum. London: The Trustees, British Museum. xxviii + 216 pp. [Peracyon: xxii,212; Paracyon:97]

 

Gunn (1843)

Gunn, Ronald Campbell, letter 6 December 1843

 

Owen (1843)

Text:

The marsupial bones, as bones, do not exist in the Dog-headed Opossum or Hyæna of the Tasmanian colonists (Thylacinus Harrisii, Temm.); they are represented by two small, oblong, flattened fibro-cartilages, imbedded in the internal pillars of the abdominal rings, and appear each as a thickened part of the tendon of the external oblique abdominal muscle, which forms the above pillar. The length of the marsupial fibro-cartilage is six lines, its breadth from three to four lines, its thickness one line and a half.

This was the condition of the rudimental marsupial bones in two full-grown females and one male specimen of the Thylacinus: in a fourth large and old male a few particles of the bone-salts were deposited in the centre of the fibro-cartilage, occasioning a gritty feeling when cut across by the knife.

This unexpected and very remakable modification of the most charcateristic part of the skeleton of the Marsupialia, in one of the largest of that order, has many important bearings upon the physiology of the problemtaical 'ossa marsupialia.' They have been most commonly supposed to serve for the support of the marsupial pouch and young; but this pouch is well developed in the female Thylacine, and in one of the specimens which I dissected four well-developed teats, each two inches long, indicated that it had contained four yougn ones when, or shortly before, it was killed. The existence of the marsupial bones in the male as well as the female sex in other marsupial animals had already invalidated the above physiological explanation, and it equally opposes the idea of the use of their marsupial bones, propounded by M. de Blanville,—that they aid in the compression required to expel the embryo. Besides, it is not in the females of those animals which give birth to the smallest young that we should expect to find auxillary bones for increasing the power of the muscles concerned in Parturition. My view of the uses of the marsupial bones, as explained in the 'Philosophical Transactions' for 1834, is, that they relate more immediately to an increase of power in the muscles (cremasteres) which wind round them, than of those implanted in them: and to the extent to which the cartilaginous representatives of the ossa marsupialia in the Thylacine strengthen the pillars of the abdominal ring, they must increased the contractile force of the compressors of the mammary glands and teats, which are situated and surrounded by the cremasteres in the Thylacine, as in other Marsupialia. Nevertheless, the almost obsolete condition of the ossa marsupialia in the Thylacine, and their very various relative sizes in other Marsupialia, are circumstances which seem incompatible with the same kind and degree of use in all the species: they are very slender, and not above half an ainch in length in the Myrmecobius, whilst in the Koala they nearly equal the iliac bones in size.

The so-called 'pyramidales' muscles, which derive a great proportion of their origin from the ossa marsupialia, bear a direct ratio to those bones in size; and an attentive observation of the habits and modes of locomotion of the different marsupial species is still wanting for a complete elucidation of the function of the marsupial bones. It is important to the palæontologist that the cartilaginous condition of the marsupial bones in the Thylacine should be borne in mind in regard to the evidences of the marsupial order that may be yielded by fossil remains: the fossil pelvis of the Thylacine, for example, had that species been long ago, as it soon is likely to be, extinct, would never have afforded the triumphant evidence to which Cuvier appealed in demonstration of the Didelphys of the gypsum quarries at Montmartre; yet the Thylacine would not therefore have been less essentially a marsupial animal. This may teach us to pause before frawing a conclusion against the marsupial character of the small Stonesfield mammalia, if their pelves should ever be found without trace of the ossa marsupialia.

 

Publication:

Owen, Richard. (1843). On the rudimental marsupial bones in the Thylacinus. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 11: 148-149.

Owen, Richard. (1846). On the rudimental marsupial bones in the ThylacinusTasmanian Journal of Natural Science, Agriculture, Statistics, &c. 2(11): 447-449.

 

Discussion:

One of the earliest warnings of the possible extinction of the species.

 

Woolnorth (1843)

Text:

Year Month Sheep Loss Predator
1843 June 16 Thylacine

 

Publication:

Van Diemen's Land Company records.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp. [p. 230]

 

Anonymous (1844a)

Text:

A CURIOSITY. — A beautiful specimen of
the native hyena was caught a few days since
on the bank of the Tamar in a snare. It has
been lying for inspection at the watch-house
for some days. The skin is about to be pre-
served and stuffed.

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1844). A Curiosity. Launceston Advertiser, Thursday, 23 May, p. 3.

 

Anonymous (1844b)

Text:

For the youngsters there was amusement in
plenty. There was a "savage hyæna, whot eats
off its own nose when it's hungry, for the small
price of 1d."—the same hyæna, be it known,
being a "native tiger," but nevertheless a very
savage, and therefore, a very amusing " cretur." (p. 3)

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1844). Regatta. Colonial Times, Saturday, 7 December, p. 2-3.

 

Anonymous (1844c)

"Guiler's detailed work on the station diaries of the Surrey Hills property of the Van Diemen's Land Company (1985, p. 109) has located a single incident in 1844 of a pig apparently killed by a thylacine." (Paddle, 2000:83)

Paddle, Robert N. (2000). The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Oakleigh, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. x + 273 pp.

Guiler, Eric Rowland. (1985). Thylacine: The Tragedy of the Tasmanian Tiger. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp. [p. 116]

 

Gervais (1844)*

Publication:

Paul Gervais. Atlas de Zoologie ou Collection de 100 Planches. Paris: Adolphe Delahays, 1844. 

 

Murray (1844)

Text:

 

6381. The Dog-faced Opossum (Thylacinus cynocephalus Tem.) (fig. 1070.) suggests the idea of a union of the dog and the panther; the fur is short and soft, yellowish brown, the sides of the body being marked by broad transverse stripes, which do not, however, extend to the belly; the tail is compressed, which suggests the supposition that it is used in swimming, particularly as this animal inhabits the rocks on the sea shore, and is known to feed upon fish. (p. 1489)

 

Publication:

Murray, Hugh. (1844). An Encyclopædia of Geography [subtitle not included]. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans.

 

Grant (1845?)

Text:

There is a peculiarity of structure in the incisor teeth of the young Thylacine, which soon wears off with age, and may therefore have escaped general observation. The incisor teeth of the lower jaw are deeply channelled transversely, and when the mouth is closed those of the upper jaw fit accurately into the groove thus formed in the lower. I am not aware that this structure is found in any other animal.— James Grant, Launceston.

 

Publication:

Grant, J. E. (1845?). Thylacinus harrisii. Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, Agriculture, Statistics, &c. 2(9): 311.

 

Discussion:

The date of publication is unclear (1845 vs 1846). It is invariably treated as 1846, presumably since the issue in which this short note occurs (i.e. 2(9)) comes after 2(8), which was published in 1846. However, the NLA (National Library of Australia) online digitisation repository notes that the issue was actually published in 1845, and thus is anachronistic.

 

Owen (1845a)

Text:

Genus Thylacinus.
1548. A portion of the left ramus of the lower jaw of the great Cave Thylacine (Thylacinus spelæus, Owen), with the first and second premolars in situ, and part of the socket of the canine and of the third premolar tooth. The present fossil is distinguished from the corresponding part in the large extinct and existing species of Dasyurus, by the compressed crowns of the premolar teeth, and by the interspaces which divide them from each other and from the third premolar tooth, also by the deeper and more compressed form of the lower jaw; i all which characters the present fossil agrees with the Great Dog-headed Opossum (Thylacinus Harrisii) of Van Diemen's Land*. The depth of the jaw below the first premolar tooth is nine lines in the fossil, that of the corresponding part of the jaw in the existing Thylacine is seven lines.

From one of the caves in the Wellington Valley, Australia.

Presented by Count Strzelecki.

* A fine specimen of the anterior extremity of the lower jaw of the Thylacinus spelæus was obtained by Sir. T. L. Mitchell from the bone-caves in Wellington Valley, and is figured in his 'Expeditions into Australia,' vol.ii. pl. 31. fig. 7. where (p. 363) I have described it as having the teeth wider apart than in the Dasyurus ursinus, which led me "to doubt whether it was the lower jaw of the Das. laniarius, or of some extinct marsupial carnivore of an allied but distinct species." At that period there was no skull of the existing Thylacine in the Museum of the College. The subsequent acquisition of that rare animal has enabled me to refer both Sir Thomas Mitchell's specimens and those of Count Strzelecki to the genus Thylacinus, no species of which is now known to exist in the continent of Australia.

1549. The penultimate molar, right side, lower jaw, of the Thylacinus spelæus: it differs from the corresponding tooth in the Dasyurus ursinus or Das. laniarius in the larger and more distinctly developed third or posterior lobe, in which character it agrees with the existing Thylacine; but it presents a difference, as compared with the penultimate molar of that species, in having a small accessory cusp on the inner side of the large middle compressed cusp; which cusp is also less deeply and angularly divided from the anterior lobe of the tooth.

From one of the caves in Wellington Valley, Australia.

Presented by Count Strzelecki.

15491. The left ramus of the lower jaw of the Hyæna or Dog-headed Opossum of Van Diemen's Land (Thylacinus Harrisii).
Presented by Ronald Gunn, Esq.

 

Publication:

Owen, Richard. (1845). Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue of the Fossil Organic Remains of Mammalia and Aves Contained in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. London: Richard and John E. Taylor. viii+ 391 pp, 10 pls. [at least pp. 335-336]

 

Owen (1845b)

Publication:

Owen, Richard. (1845). Odontography; or, A treatise on the comparative anatomy of the teeth; their physiological relations, mode of development, and microscopic structure, in the vertebrate animals. London: H. Baillière. [p. 373]

 

South (1845)

 

Publication:

South, J. F. (1845). Dasyurus, pp. 569. In: Smedley, Edward, Rose, Hugh James and Rose, Henry John (eds.). Encyclopædia Metropolitana; or, Universal Dictionary of Knowledge... Vol. 17. London: [various].

 

Strzelecki (1845)

Text:

It is thus that the Australian bones have been found to belong to extinct animals, some of which are unknown to naturalists, as the Diprotodon, and Nototherium;—some, as the MacropusHypsiprymnusPhascolomysDasyurusThylacinus, presenting but typical forms of the existing species. (p. 144-145)

 

Publication:

Strzelecki, P. E. de. (1845). Physical Description of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. Accompanied by a Geological Map, Sections, and Diagrams, and Figures of the Organic Remains. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans. [p. 144-145; Thylacinus also mentioned on p. 154]

 

Woolnorth (1845)

Text:

Year Month Sheep Loss Predator
1845 Nov. 38 Thylacine

 

Publication:

Van Diemen's Land Company records.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp. [p. 230]

 

Breton (1846)

Text:

At a hut on Lake Arthur I saw a native tiger, or hyena (Thylacinus cynocephalus), about half grown, and recently captured. The animal was secured by a chain fastened to a tree without any protection from several dogs that were at the hut, yet none of the latter interfered with it. The Thylacinus is far more common in some parts of the Colony than in others, and commits occasionally great havoc among the lambs. It is a cowardly creature, and, notwithstanding its formidable row of teeth, may be killed by a dog half its size. The largest I have met with measured three feet seven inches from the nose to the insertion of the tail, and one foot six inches in height at the shoulder: but it has been obtained somewhat larger. The colour is a light brown with black bands across the back gradually tapering to a point at the belly, and of a deeper black in the male than the female. It makes a peculiar noise, sometimes resembling the growl of the common tiger, at others the bleating of a lamb. The stock-keepers say it hunts the kangaroo by scent. It is said to be stupid and indolent; but this is a mistake. I have reason to believe it seldom has more than two at a birth, for one one instance came under my observation of three. In this case, when the mother was killed, the young were found to adhere so firmly to the nipple, that it had to be cut, and the mouths of the young were then forced open. They lived about two months in a room, and were than found dead in the fire-place, to which they had, it seems, retired for warmth. A Thylacinus that I saw in possession of a gentleman had a puppy six weeks old thrown to it, which it immediately tore to pieces and devoured. (p. 125-126)

 

Publication:

Breton, William Henry. (1846). Excursion to the Western Range, TasmaniaTasmanian Journal of Natural Science, Agriculture, Statistics, &c. 2(7): 121-141.

 

Bromme (1846)*

Image:

 

Publication:

Traugott Bromme, Zonengemälde. Naturgeschichte und Völkerkunde vollständig in Wort und Bild, Schmidt and Spring, Stuttgart, 1846

 

Swainson (1846)

Publication:

Swainson, W. (1846). The dog-faced opossum. In: Murray, H., Wallace, W., Jameson, R., Hooker, W. J. and Swainson, W. An Encyclopædia of Geography... (revised edition). London: Longmans, Green and Co.

 

Waterhouse (1846)*

Image and text:

 

Genus, [i]Thylacinus[/i].

[i]Thylacinus[/i]. 1. Temminck, Monographies de Mammalogie, tom. i. p. 60, 1827

[i]Peracyon[/i]2. Gray, Annals of Philosophy, for November, 1825, vol. x. of New Series, p. 344.

Dasyuridæ with the outermost incisors slightly exceeding the others in size; the premolars separated from each other, and 3/3-3/3 in number; the three foremost of the upper true molars with a much elevated central cusp, an anterior and posterior cusp but little elevated, and an internal lobe; the hindermost upper true molar transverse; the true molars of the lower jaw nearly resembling those of the upper jaw, but destitute of internal lobe, and with the central cusp more elevated; the humerus with the inner condyle perforated; the hind foot destitute of inner toe; marsupial bones wanting; the females with a distinct pouch, and provided with four mammæ.

The premolars are more numerous in [i]Thylacinus[/i] than in [i]Dasyurus[/i], there being three, instead of two, of these teeth on either side of each jaw: the teeth, indeed, agree in number with those of [i]Phascogale[/i], though in other respects they differ much: the incisors differ, inasmuch as the outermost, instead of the innermost pair, are the largest; the premolars differ in being isolated, and the true molars are of a more simple form. The canine teeth are of large size, of a simple, elongated conical form, and are slightly recurved at the apex; those of the upper jaw are separated from the incisor teeth by a

1 From [insert Ancient Greek], a pouch.
2 From pera, a pouch; and [insert Ancient Greek], a dog (?) Although Mr. Gray proposed the above name for the present genus in 1825, so far as I can learn the section was first characterized by M. Temminck.

large and deep concavity into which the apex of the canine of the lower jaw is lodged when the jaws are closed1. The premolar teeth present a triangular outline when viewed from the outer or inner side, and have a small posterior basal cusp: the two foremost of the upper premolars are separated from each other, or from the canine; the third upper premolar is in contact with the true molars; but in the lower jaw all the premolars are isolated. The crowns of the three foremost upper true molars are in the form of a right-angled triangle, of which one of the sides is about one-fourth shorter than the others; this short side is in front. Viewed from the outer side, these molars present a large central cusp, and two smaller and much less elevated cusps, placed one behind, and the other in front of the principal cusp: the foremost cusp is separated by a distinct transverse notch from the body of the tooth. The inner lobe of the tooth is but little elevated. The hindermost true molar is nearly of the same structure as the others, but of smaller size, and so placed that its greatest diameter is in the opposite direction to the long diameter of the other molars. The true molars of the lower jaw have the crown divided by transverse incisors into three cusps, of which the central one is the largest, pointed, and much elevated.

But one recent species of this genus is known, and that is confined to Van Diemen's Land; but amongst the fossil remains found in the caves in Wellington Valley already alluded to. Prof. Owen has detected some portions of lower jaws, which he regards as belonging to a species of [i]Thylacinus[/i]. An anterior extremity of one of these fossils is figured in Sir T. Mitchell's Australia (vol. ii. pl. 31, fig. 7), and other portions subsequently sent to England are de-

1 The Dasyuri all present this character, which is not found in the ordinary [i]Carnivora[/i]; in those animals the lower canine passes on the outer side of the upper jaw, when the mouth is closed.

scribed in the Catalogue of the College of Surgeons, under the name

Thylacinus spelæus. Owen.

The principal known differences between this fossil species and the recent one are, that the lower jaw is deeper, being nine lines below the first premolar tooth, whilst in [i]Thylacinus cynocephalus[/i] the depth of the jaw at the same point is but seven lines. A penultimate molar tooth of the lower jaw in the College of Surgeons' Museum, when compared with the corresponding tooth of the recent species, "differs, moreover, in having a small accessary cusp on the inner side of the large middle compressed cusp, which cusp is also less deeply and angularly divided from the anterior lobe of the tooth.1" In this last mentioned character the fossil agrees more nearly with [i]Dasyurus[/i] proper, than with [i]Thylacinus[/i].

1 Owen, in Catalogue of the Fossil Remains contained in the Museum of College of Surgeons, p. 336.

THYLACINUS CYNOCEPHALUS.
Dog-headed Thylacinus.

([i]Plate[/i] 16, fig. 2).

Didelphis cynocephala. Harris, Transactions of the Linnean Society, vol. ix. p. 174, Pl. 19. 1807.
Dasyurus cynocephalus. Geoffroy, Annales du Muséum, tom. xv. p. 304.
Thylacinus Fischer, Synopsis Mammalium, p. 270.
                     A. Wagner, in Schreb. Saug. Suppl. 109—110 Heft, p. 19.
                     Waterhouse, Nat. Library (Marsupialia), vol. xi. p. 123, Pl. 5.
Thylacinus Harrisii. Temminck, Monographies de Mammalogie, vol. i. p. 63. Pl. 7, figs. 1—4,—the skull and lower jaw.
Peracyon cynocephalus, the Tasmanian Wolf. Gray, List of the Mammalia in the British Museum (1843), p. 97.
Tiger, Hyæna, Zebra-Opossum, Zebra-Wolf, and Dog-headed Opossum of the colonists.

About equal in size to the Common Wolf; head formed like that of a Dog; tail about half the length of the body; fur short, and closely applied to the skin; general colour grey-brown; the back with from about twelve to fourteen transverse black bands, narrow and short on the fore parts of the back, longer and broader on the hinder parts; region of the eye pale; tail with short fur, nearly like that of the body, excepting on the under side of the apical portion, and at the tip, where the hairs are comparatively long.

Inhabits Van Diemen's Land.

The general resemblance which the Thylacinus bears to a Wolf or large Dog, has struck many, and indeed, has caused it to be, by some, arranged amongst the ordinary Carnivora1.

1 The Thylacinus is arranged by Mr. Swainson amongst the Felidae, or Cat Family, and in support of his views, the author quotes some observations from Temminck with regard to the dentition of the animal; Mr. Swainson however, restricts his quotation to those parts only, of M. Temminck's account, in which certain resemblances exisiting between the teeth of the Thylacinus and those of some of the true Carnivora are pointed out. Certain teeth in the animal under considration, it is true, will bear a close comparison with certain teeth found in Cats and Dogs, but striking differences are observable when the whole series of the teeth of the carnivorous marsupial quadruped is compared with that of any mammal belonging to the true [i]Carnivora[/i]. The increase in the number of the incisors, and true molars, in the Thylacinus, becomes important when it is found that these teeth are implanted in a skull and lower jaw which in every respect are conformable to the marsupial type of structure, and that in that type only is this increase found. The passage quoted from M. Temminck, however, will not bear the construction which Mr. Swainson has put upon it; M. Temminck compares the true molars of the Thylacinus with the principal false molar ("carnassièr") of the Cats and Dogs. Now, the true molars of the last mentioned animals differ much in their structure from the corresponding teeth in the pouched Thylacinus; and hence the arguments of Mr. Swainson, founded upon a presumed resemblance in the dentition of the animals mentioned, are not valid.

Its legs, however, are proportionately shorter than in the Wolf, and, judging from the structure of its foot, its body must be brought much nearer to the ground, in walking, than that of the Wolf, it being what may be termed a semi-plantigrade animal. The muzzle is more elongated and narrower than in other [i]Dasyuridae[/i]. The ears are rather short, very broad at the base, and somewhat pointed at the opposite extremity; they are well clothed with hairs, both internally and externally; on the outer side the hairs are coloured like those on the upper part of the head, excepting towards the tip of the ear, where they are paler; on the inner side the hairs are of a brownish white hue, slightly inclining to yellow; near the anterior angle they are very long. The eyes, according to Mr. Harris, are large and full, of a black colour, and provided with a nyctitant membrane. Long black bristles spring from the upper lip; a few are also observed on the cheeks, and above the eye. The fur of the animal is short, somewhat closely applied to the skin, though of a slightly woolly texture, owing to each of the hairs of which it is composed being waved. The general tint of the animal is greyish brown, but faintly suffused with yellowish; on the under parts of the body of a paler hue than the upper. The fur on the back is of a deep brown colour next the skin, and each hair (excepting those which form the transverse black bands) is yellowish brown towards the point, and dusky at the point; on the addomen the hairs are of a paler brown at the root, and brown-white externally. The black bands alluded to are usually about fourteen in number; they commence immediately behind the shoulders, and are at first narrow and confined to the back, but, proceeding towards the tail, they become gradually broader, and are more extended in the lateral direction; those on the haunches are the longest, and are often forked at their extremities. The general tint of the head is rather paler than that of the body, and the region of the eye is of a whitish hue, but a dark spot is observable at the anterior angle of the eye, and a narrow dark line runs over the eye: the muzzle is dusky; the edge of the upper lip white. The limbs, externally, and the feet, scarcely differ in colour from the body. The large pads at the base of the toes of the fore foot are naked, and exceedingly rough, and narrow naked mark runs backwards from these pads to the wrist; a similar narrow naked mark runs along the under side of the hidn foot, from the heel to the great rough pads at the base of the toes. The claws of the fore and hind feet are nearly equal in size; short, thick, but slightly compressed, and solid; and they are of a brown colour. The tail is about half as long as the body; thick at the base, where it is covered with somewhat woolly fur, like that on the body, but at about the commencement of the second fourth of the tail the hairs become short and harsh, and are closely applied to the skin; they are brown on the upper surface, and pale brown on the under; on the under surface of the apical portion of the tail, however, the hairs are comparatively long, as well as at the point, where they are blackish: about three or four black bands are observable on the basal part of the tail above.

The region of the pouch in the female is clothed with rusty red hairs.

The dimensions of the female specimen from which the above description is taken, will be found in the first of the columns of admeasurements; those added in the second are from a male specimen in the Biritish Museum collection.

Female. Male.
Inches. Lines. Inches. Lines.
Length from tip of nose to root of tail 33 0 45 0

" of tail ... ... ... 14 0 20 0
" from tip of nose to ear ... 6 0 7 9
" from ditto to eye, about ... 3 0 4 3
" of ear ... ... ... ... 2 0 2 2
Width of ditto at the base ... ... 2 6 3 3
Length of hind foot ... ... ... 5 3 6 7
Height at shoulders, about ... 18 6

A skeleton of an adult male Thylacinus in the Museum of the College of Surgeons measures in total length about five feet, and its height at the shoulders is about 21 1/4 inches. The subjoined dimensions are taken from skulls in the British Museum and that of the Royal College of Surgeons.

[insert table from p. 460]

The auditory bullæ are small, little convex, and formed, as in nearly all the other Marsupialia, of the alæ of the sphenoid; the palatine openings are tolerably large, and situated for the most part in the palatine bone. The nasal process of the intermaxillary bones notches into the nasal bones in a very unsual manner. The facial portion of the skull is very narrow, and considerably elongated; the skull is again much contracted in the temporal region, but broad between the orbits, which latter are more than three parts enclosed, there being a distinct post-orbital process to the frontal, and a corresponding process to the malar bone. The zygoma is thrown boldly outwards, leaving a large temporal fossa, and it is also arched upwards to furnish greater resistance to the muscles of the lower jaw.

Mr. Harris, who was the first to make this animal known, states that it inhabits amongst caverns and rocks in the deep and almost impenetrable glens in the neighbourhood of the highest mountains of Van Diemen's Land. The specimen from which his description was taken was caught in a trap baited with Kangaroo's flesh: it remained alive but a few hours, having received some internal hurt whilst being secured. From time to time it uttered a short guttural cry, and it appeared exceedingly inactive and stupid, and, like the owl, had an almost continual motion of the nyctitant membrane of the eye. Remains of an Echidna were found in the stomach of the animal. Mr. Gunn informs us that these animals are common only in the remoter parts of the colony, and are frequently caught at Woolnorth and the Hampshire Hills. They attack the sheep at night, but are occasionally seen during the day-time; upon which occasions, perhaps from imperfect vision, their pace is very slow. Mr. Gunn also observes that the Thylacinus sometimes attains so large and formidable a size that a number of dogs will not face it. That gentleman denies that the tail of the animal is compressed, as has been stated by some authors, and his observations do not confirm the aquatic habits which have been attributed to it.

Prof. Owen, who has prepared a memoir upon the internal anatomy of the Thylacinus, found no marsupial bones in three of the specimens which he dissected, two of which were full-grown females, and the third a male; but in a large and old male he detected a few particles of the bone-salts in the centre of the fibro-cartilage. The pouch, Prof. Owen observes, is well developed in the female Thylacine, and in one of the specimens dissected, four well developed teats, each four inches long, indicated that it had contained four young ones when, or shortly before, it was killed1.

1 See Proceedings of the Zoological Society for December, 1843, p. 148.

 

Publication:

Waterhouse, George Robert. (1846). A Natural History of the Mammalia. Volume 1, containing the Order Marsupiata or pouched animals. London: Hippolyte Baillière. 553 pp + 20 pls. [p. 453-461, pl. at end of work]

 

Woolnorth (1846)

Text:

Year Month Sheep Loss Predator
1846 April 13 Thylacine

 

Publication:

Van Diemen's Land Company records.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp. [p. 230]

 

Anonymous (1847)

Text:

A large specimen of Thylacinus Harrisii was exhibited by W. H. Breton, Esq., which he had recently obtained from Auburn, Macquarie River. It was a male, and its dimensions were as follows:

  Ft. In.
Nose to insertion of tail 3 10½
Length of tail 1 8
Height of shoulder from the ground 1 10¼
Girth round the body behind the shoulder 2

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1847). Minutes of the Tasmanian Society: August 4, 1847. Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, Agriculture, Statistics, &c. 3(4): 322-323.

 

Discussion:

The authorship of this journal article has been attributed to William Henry Breton by (Smith, 1981:107; Paddle, 2000:247). However, it is anonymous.

Other references

Paddle, Robert N. (2000). The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Oakleigh, Victoria: Cambridge University Press.

Smith, Steven J. (1981). The Tasmanian Tiger - 1980: A report on an investigation of the current status of thylacine Thylacinus cynocephalus, funded by The World Wildlife Fund Australia. Wildt. Division Tech. Rep. 81/1. Hobart, Australia: National Parks and Wildlife Service. 133 pp.

 

Errors by other authors:

Paddle (2000:247) gives the pagination as "125-126", which is rather the pagination of the thylacine portion of the larger text (viz. 121-141) of (Breton, 1846).

 

Owen (1847?)

Text:

Read extracts from a letter from Professor Owen to Mr. Ronald C. Gunn, wherein he expresses an anxious desire to obtain...the brains of the Thylacinus and Dasyurus (Devil of the colonists). (Anonymous, 1847:325)

 

Publication:

Letter from Richard Owen to Ronald Campbell Gunn, possibly dated to 1847.

Anonymous. (1847). Minutes of the Tasmanian Society: September 2, 1847. Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, Agriculture, Statistics, &c. 3(4): 325-326.

 

Todd (1847)

Publication:

Todd, Robert B. (ed.). (1847). The Cylopædia of Anatomy and Physiology. Vol. III (INS—PLA). London: Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper. [p. 258]

 

Woolnorth (1847)

Text:

Year Month Sheep Loss Predator
1847 Feb. 8 Thylacine and dogs

 

Publication:

Van Diemen's Land Company records.

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp. [p. 230]

 

Gosse (1848)*

Image and text:

The animals of this Family vary in size from that of a wolf to that of a small mouse: the larger species are fierce and destructive, preying on the sheep and poultry of the settlers. They inhabit New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.

Genus Thylacinus. (Temm.)

In this genus the teeth are thus arranged: inc. 8/6; can. 1-1/1-1; false mol. 3-3/3-3; mol. 4-4/4-4== 46. The incisors in each jaw are disposed semicircularly, with a vacant space in the middle of the number; the external ones are the largest; they are much like those of a dog. The molars also closely resemble the "lacerators" in the true Carnivora. The feet are like those of a dog; the toes are short, naked, and very rough beneath; they are armed with short thick claws, slightly compressed. The thumb or inner toe is entirely wanting on the hind feet, even in the skeleton.

The only known species is the Zebra-wolf of the Australian settlers (Thylacinus cynocephalus, Harris) called also Native Tiger, Native Hyena, and Zebra-Opossum. It nearly equals a wolf in size, and is the largest carnivorous quadruped found wild in New Holland. The head is formed like that of a dog, with rather short, erect ears; the tail is thick at the base, but tapers to the point; it is about half as long as the body; the eyes are large, full, and black; the general colour of the fir is pale yellowish-brown, with numerous black bands across the back and haunches. Specimens occur which measure six feet in length, (including the tail, which is about two feet) and which stand about two feet high.

The Zebra-wolf was first described and figured by Mr. Harris in the Linnæan Transactions, under the name of Didelphys cynocephalus. Of its manners he states,—"It inhabits amongst caverns and rocks

of the deep and almost impenetrable glens in the neighbourhood of the highest mountainous parts of Van Diemen's Land, where it probably preys on the Brush Kangaroo, and various small animals that abound in those places. That from which [his] description and the drawing accompanying it were taken, was caught in a trap baited with Kangaroo-flesh. It remained alive but a few hours, having received some internal hurt, in securing it. It from time to time uttered a short guttural cry, and appeared exceedingly inactive and stupid; having, like the owl, an almost continual motion of the nictitant membrane of the eye..... In its stomach were found the partly-digestes remains of a Porcupine Ant-eater."*

It is said to be still numerous in the more remote parts of the colony, being often caught at Woolnorth and the Hampshire Hills. It usually attacks sheep in the night, but is also seen occasionally during the day-time, when its pace, probably owing to the imperfection of its sight by day, is very slow.†

* Linn. Trans. ix. 174.

† Annals of N. H. 1838, p. 101.

 

Publication:

Gosse, Philip Henry. (1848). Natural History: Mammalia. London. [p. 254-256]

 

Marney (1848)

Text:

"REQUIRED FOR THE

Hibernia Menagerie

NEXT DOOR TO

MR. DIXON'S GINGER.BEER MANU-

FACTORY,

53, Bathurst-street, Hobart Town.

THE Undersigned having received instruc-
tions from his Agents in London for the
following description of Birds and Quadrupeds,
is open to treat for the purchase of the same
from any person having them to dispose of; of
he is willing to enter into a contract with any
individual desirous of procuring the different
species for him. A most liberal price will be
given for all descriptions brought to him ; viz -
100 dozen Bush Lawyers (known in the bush by
the name of Rosella Parrots), Cockatoos, Parro-
quets, Mountain Parrots, King Parrots, Lowery
Parrots, Jenny Lind Parrots, Jackasses, Mag-
pies, Van Diemen's Land Miners, and Birds of
all description; also, Tigers, Tiger Cats, Devils,
Native Cats, Oppossums, Kangaroos, Vandemo-
nian Bears, Native Dogs, &.c. Oppossum-skin
Rugs and Skins of every description, together
with all kinds of rare Birds and Animals that
may be found in the bush, purchased.
P.S - Monkeys, Guinea Pigs, and Rabbits, re-
cently imported from England, on sale ; also, a
few cases of Insects.

A Sea Lawyer wanted.

PETER MARNEY.

53, Bathurst-street,

October 31, 1848 2403"

 

Publication:

Marney, Peter. (1848). Required for the Hibernia Menagerie. Colonial Times, Tuesday, 31 October, p. 3 |4|.

 

Baudement (1849)

Publication:

Baudement, G. (1849). Thylacine. In: D'Orbigny, M. C. (ed.). Dictionnaire Universel D'Histoire Naturelle, Vol. 12. Paris: Renard, Martinet et Cie.

 

Cuvier (1849)

Text:

The Thylacines (Thylacinus, Tem.)—
Are the largest of this first division: they are distinguished from the Opossums by the hind-feet having no thumb, by a hairy and not prehensile tail, and two incisors less to each jaw; their molars are of the same number. They have accordingly forty-six teeth; but the external edge of the three large ones is projecting and trenchant, almost like the carnivorous tooth of a Dog: their ears are hairy, and of middle size.

But one [living] species is known, a native of Van Diemen's Land.—Size that of a [small] Wolf, but lower on the legs; of a greyish colour, barred with black across the crupper (Did. cynocephala, Harris). It is very carnivorous, and pursues all small quadrupeds. [This animal does not fish, as has been stated; nor is its tail compressed: it is principally nocturnal, and is called Tiger and Hyæna in its native island.] A fossil species of Thylacine has been found in the gypsum quarries of Paris. (p. 103)

 

Publication:

Cuvier, Georges [Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier]. (1849). The Animal Kingdom... London: W. M. S. Orr and Co.

 

Discussion:

The last sentence, referring to Thylacinus fossils dug up in Paris, is clearly in error. It is addressed by (Owen, 1843).

 

Gunn (1849)

Text:

[The Secretary stated that, through the liberality of Ronald Gunn, Esq., and Dr. Grant, of Launceston, the Menagerie had been enriched by the safe arrival of two living specimens of Thylacinus cynocephalus (Mammalia, Pl. XVIII): and he read the following letter in reference to this most valuable and interesting gift, which has added one of the rarest and most difficult forms to the series of Marsupials which have hitherto been exhibited in the Gardens:—]

"Launceston, Van Diemen's Land, 29th December, 1849.
"Sir,—I have shipped on board the barque Stirlingshire, Chris. Gwatkin, master, two living Thylacines (male and female) for the Zoological Society of London, and which I trust will reach you alive and well. Captain Gwatkin, whom I have known for some years, has promised his utmost personal care and attention to them during the passage home. I have put on board twelve fat sheep (together with hay for their sustenance) as sea-stores for the Thylacines, and have made every arrangement I could think of to ensure their safe arrival in London.

"I have had the female in confinement for upwards of six months, and it has become sufficiently tame to permit its head to be scratched, or to be otherwise touched through the bars of its prison, without showing any anger or irritation. The male, for which the Society is indebted to my friend Dr. James Grant of Launceston, was only caught a month ago. We placed it at once with the female, with which it seems upon the best of terms, but it is not yet so familiar with the presence of man. I have purposely kept their cage close to the side of a path where many of my servants pass daily, and where my children are in the habit of playing, and I find that beyond a hissing noise made by the male, they do not seem at all disturbed by any one going close to them.

"I have fed them exclusively upon mutton. They prefer the parts containing bones, and do not seem to relish the liver, heart, lights, &c.

"Both these animals have been caught in snares upon the upper part of the St. Patrick's River, about thirty miles N.E. of Launceston.

"The female, which was first caught, was placed for some time in a small unfinished house at the St. Patrick's until I could devise means of getting her down here; and when I sent a trustworthy person up for her, he assured me that she was excessively agile—springing from the floor to the top of the walls, 6 to 8 feet, and from joist to joist near the roof with the activity of a cat. He also informed me that the Thylacine will not eat the Wombat, an animal exceedingly abundant on the St. Patrick's River, and with which they attempted to feed it during the month it was there, previous to my having it brought down to my residence. Otherwise I have not had any great opportunity of observing any peculiar habits.

"Both Dr. Grant and I continue to offer high rewards for living specimens, and you shall have all the benefit of our success, whatever it may be. The great increase of sheep in all directions obliges the shepherds to destroy them by every possible means, and they are rarely caught alive, or if so caught, are killed whilst in the snares. I am therefore more than usuallu anxious that these should reach you safely, and I have offered the Captain a proportionate reward for their delivery alive.

"An observation of mine, contained in a letter to Sir W. Hooker, and which was not meant for publication, has been misunderstood, and has led to the propagation or error—for which I am very sorry. In it I said the Thylacine's tail was not compressed—in reference to an observation of Mr. Swainson's in the 'Encyclopædia of Geography' (then recently published), that the tail of the Thylacine was compressed, which suggested the supposition that it was used in swimming, &c. It was to the latter part of this observation that my remarks were particularly applied (vide Annals of Nat. Hist. vol. i. p. 101—2), and I meant that the tail was not compressed to such an extent as to have justified the inference that it was useful in swimming; and thus that the animal obtained its food principally from the sea, which the paragraph in the 'Encyclopædia of Geography' implied. The tail is obviously slightly compressed, but not, I think, more so than the tails of the Dasyures, to which aquatic habits are not attributed. In writing hurriedly—and not for publication—I did not express myself with the precision I ought to have done. I mainly wished to point out that the tail would not justify the inference of Mr. Swainson (which I thought very far strained), that the animal was aquatic in its habits and piscivorous. Pray set me right whenever you have an opportunity.

"I beg to remain, Sir, yours very faithfully,

       "Ronald C. Gunn."

"D. W. Mitchell, Esq., Secretary Zoological Society."

 

Publication:

Gunn, Ronald Campbell. (1849). Letter to D. W. Mitchell, Esq., Secretary of the Zoological Society of London, 29/12/1849.

Gunn, Ronald Campbell. (1850). Letter relating to two living specimens of Thylacinus cynocephalus, presented to the Society by himself and Dr. James Grant of Launceston. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1850: 90-91.

 

Knight (1849)* [1844?]

Image and text:

The Dog-Headed Thylacinus.

(Thylacinus Cynocephalus.)

This animal, called zebra opossum, and zebra wolf, tiger, hyæna, &c. is a native of Van Diemen's Land, where it is fortunately much rarer than the ursine opossum, otherwise it would prove a greater pest, from its size and strength. In stature it nearly equals a wolf; the head much resembles that of a dog, but the mouth is wider; the tail is thick at the base, becoming more slender to the point: it is covered with short close hairs of a brown colour. The general fur is short and smooth, of a dusky yellowsh brown, barred or zebraed on the lower part of the back and rump with about sixteen black transverse stripes, broadest on the back and gradually tapering downwards, two of which extend a considerable way down the thighs. The ground-colour of the back has a tint of dusky gray. The eyes are large, full, and black. Length of head and body of adult male, nearly four feet; of the tail two feet; average height of back one foot ten or eleven inches. In the specimens we have examined, the tail appeared compressed, as was observed by Mr. Harris, its original described. Mr. Gunn, however, in the 'Magazine of Natural History,' contradicts this part of Mr. Harris's statement.

Dental formula:—incisors 8/6; canines 1-1/1-1; molars 7-7/7-7,==46

The toes are 5 on the fore-feet, 4 on the hind-feet; the claws are blunt as in the dog: a narrow naked line runs up the back of the wrist from the ball, and also up the metatarsus of the hind limbs, to half the distance between the ball or pad and the heel. (Fig. 90.)

In its habits the dog-headed thylacinus is nocturnal, remaining concealed during the day in the caverns and fissures of the rocks, in the deep and almost impenetrable glens among the highest mountains of Van Diemen's Land. Like the ursine opossum it is distressed by the light,

 

and brings the nictitating membrane of the eyes into perpetual use. During the night it prowls, hyæna-like, in quest of prey. The bush kangaroo and other animals it destroys, and even manages to eat the spine-covered echidna (or porcupine anteater), which is so protected by its panoply of spears as to seem almost invulnerable. An individual was caught by Mr. Harris ina trap baited with kangaroo flesh; it lived but a few hours, having received some internal hurt in securing it, and appeared to be stupid, inactive, and ferocious, uttering from time to time a short guttural cry; like the owl, it was constantly drawing and undrawing the nictitating membrane of the eye. In its stomach was found the partly-digested remains of a porcupine anteater. Mr. Gunn (see 'Annals of Natural History' for 1838, vol. i., p. 101) informs us the thylacinus is common in the more remote parts of the colony, and is often caught at Woolnorth and Hampshire Hills. It usually attacks sheep in the night, but is also seen during the daytime, upon which occasions, perhaps from its imperfect vision by day, its pace is very slow. We are not aware that this animal has ever been brough alive to Europe. (p. 160-162)

 

Publication:

Knight, Charles. (1849). Sketches in Natural History: History of the Mammalia. Vol. 1. Order—Carnivora: Families—Felidæ and Ursidæ. Order: Marsupialia. London: C. Cox. [p. 160-162]

Knight, Charles. (n.d.). The Pictorial Museum of Animated Nature. London: C. Cox. [pp. 15,16]

 

Discussion:

The texts of (Knight, 1849) and (Knight, n.d.) differ ever so slightly. The illustrations are also slightly different, insofar as the number below the illustration of the species is 90 and 69, respectively. It is possible that the latter publication is actually earlier than 1849, as both Archive.org and BHL give "1844?" as the year of publication. But without anything firm to go on I have tentatively relegated it under Knight (1849).

 

McCulloch (1849)

Text:

the largest, the dog-faced Dasyurus (Thylacynus Harisii), and Dasyurus ursinus (the devil of the colonists), being confined to Van Diemen's Land. (Ogilby, Linn. Trans., xviii., 122) The former resembles closely an ill-made dog, but is marked with zebra-like stripes;

 

Publication:

McCulloch, J. R. (1849). A Dictionary, Geographical, Statistical and Historical, of the ..., Volume 1. New York: Harper & Brothers. [p. 217]

 

Discussion:

The scientific name is in error and thus unfortunately constitutes a new synonym.

 

Pierer (1849)

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=beQ0AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA757&dq=Didelphis+cynocephala&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwinoqqHvvPkAhWbfysKHZuUDY44bhDoAQg1MAI#v=onepage&q=Didelphis%20cynocephala&f=false

 

Anonymous (1850)

Text [incomplete]:

these rare animals [thylacines]... are now rapidly disappearing (Paddle, 2014:145)

 

Publication:

London Times, 21 May 1850 [safe arrival of London's two thylacines from Tasmania]

Anonymous. (1850). Royal Society Van Diemen's Land. Launceston Examiner, Saturday, 19 October, p. 4.

Paddle, Robert N. (2014). Scientists and the Construction of the Thylacine's Extinction, pp. 143-158. In: Lang, Rebecca (ed.). The Tasmanian Tiger: Extinct or Extant? Hazelbrook, NSW: Strange Nation Publishing. 186 pp. [p. 145; incomplete quote]

 

Broderip (1850)

Text:

One of the Thylacines in the Regent's Park, when shut out of his dormitory, spent his time in walking round and round in a narrow circle, without even examining the extent or nature of his place of confinement, or expatiating: no, he went round and round, as if he had not sense to do anything more.

But we must introduce this brute form more particularly to our friends.

Thylacinus cynocephalus, the dog-faced opossum, vulgarly known as the zebra opossum and zebra wolf in Van Diemen's Land, is about the size of a young wolf. The short, smooth, dusky brown hair, is barred on the back, especially at the lower part and on the rump, with some fifteen or sixteen black transverse stripes, broadest on the back, and narrowing as they extend down the sides. Two or more of these zebra-like marks descend down the thighs considerably. The ground colour on the back os of a blackish gray hue. The tail is long, but not large, nor does it look well-proportioned or symmetrically set on. It has forty-six teeth: eight incisors in the upper jaw and six in the lower, two canines above and two below, and twenty-eight molar teeth, fourteen in the upper jaw and the same number in the lower. There are five toes on each of the fore-feet, and four on each of the hind-feet.

Mr. Harris has described this, the largest of the Australian carnivorous animals, in the Transactions of the Linnean Society. He remarks that it utters a short, guttural cry, and appeares exceedingly inactive and stupid, having, like the owl, an almost constant motion with the nictitating membrane of the eye. The animal described by him was taken in a trap baited with kangaroo flesh, and lived only a few hours after its capture: in its stomach were found the partly-digested remains of a porcupine anteater.* (* Echidna aculeata)

The native abode of this curious animal is among the caverns and rocks of the deep and almost impenetrable glens near the highest mountains of Van Diemen's Land.

I first clearly saw a pair of these animals fairly out in the light on the 26th May last, in one of the dens appropriated to the carnivorous animals in the garden of the Zoological Society in the Regent's Park. They had been presented to the Society by Mr. Gunn. I had, on a former day, seen them imperfectly by getting into the outer apartment of their den and looking into their dormitory. When fairly exposed, they presented to my eye the images of the most extraordinary animals that I had seen; creatures, I repeat, such as one has beheld in dreams,—uncouth, loggerheaded, oddly made up, as if Nature had been trying her ''prentic han'' at wolf-making, and as if they belonged to a very ancient state of things in this planet, as all the native Australian quadrupeds do. The clumsy, ill-defined forms of these Thylacines have puzzled men to give them a name. 'Wolves,' 'hyænas,' are some of the appellations applied to them by the colonists, who saw a dog-like or wolf-like head on a body striped with marks resembling, in a degree, those of some of the hyænas. It is impossible for a palæontologist to look at them without fancying that he sees some fossil animal recalled to life; and, indeed, the extinct zoophagous marsupial Thylacotherium must, as its name implies, have borne some resemblance to the animals now under consideration. There cannot have been any very wide zoological interval between the forms of the Thylacine and of the Thylacothere.

The Thylacines, like all the true Australian mammals, are strictly marsupial; and the female rejoices in as good a pouch after her kind as the best-provided kangaroo of them all.

And what a beautiful provision this is; how admirably adapted to the region in which the marsupials live, and move, and have their being. Australia is proverbially wanting in rivers, and during a considerable portion of the year the supply of water is very precarious. Most of these quadrupeds drink very little; and the mother, instead of dragging her young about wearily to look, perhaps in vain, for water, has them comfortably wrapper up in her pouch, and thrives where a fox and her cubs would miserably perish. (p. 191-192)

...

But to return to the Thylacines. They were so very shy and wild, that it was some time before they could be turned into their outer apartment while their sleeping-place was being cleaned, without actual danger to themselves; they threw themselves about so recklessly, dashing themselves in their terror against the walls and bars of their place of confinement. When I saw them out they had a most wild and scared appearance, and made haste to escape from the light of day to the obscurity of their inner den. (p. 195)

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1850b). Lessons from the Note-Book of a Naturalist. Part VIII. Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country 42: 187-202. [p. 191-192,195]

Anonymous. (1850c). Leaves from the notebook of a naturalist. Part VIII. Littell's Living Age 332: 605-615.

Broderip, W. J. (1852). Leaves from the Notebook of a Naturalist. Boston: E. Littell & Co. / New York: G. P. Putnam.  [p. 54-55,57]

 

Gunn (1850a)

Text [incomplete]:

I feel little doubt but that the Thylacines will do well and very probably breed; the number of young is four at a litter—at least I have seen four in the female's pouch, but there may often be fewer. They inhabit the summits of the western mountains (alt. 3500 feet), where, occasionally, snow falls for many months of the year, where the ground is sometimes covered with snow for weeks, and where frosts are severe; therefore I can imagine nothing in the climate of London likely to injure them very materially. (Gould, 1863:61)

 

Publication:

Letter from Ronald Campbell Gunn to D. W. Mitchell, dated 12 November 1850.

Gould, John. (1851). The Mammals of Australia. Volume 1. Part 3. London: Self published.

Gould, John. (1863). The Mammals of Australia. Volume 1. Part 3. London: Self published.

 

Errors by other authors:

Paddle (2000:253) has this letter to John Gould, but GOuld himself clearly states that it was received by D. W. Mitchell and is therefore presumably addressed to the latter.

 

Gunn (1850b)

Text:

In a very few years this Animal [the Thylacine] so highly interesting to the Zoologist will be extinct (Paddle, 2014:147)

 

Publication:

Gunn, Ronald Campbell. (1850). Zoology (draft manuscript). R.C. Gunn Correspondence, MLA 258, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

Paddle, Robert N. (2014). Scientists and the Construction of the Thylacine's Extinction, pp. 143-158. In: Lang, Rebecca (ed.). The Tasmanian Tiger: Extinct or Extant? Hazelbrook, NSW: Strange Nation Publishing. 186 pp. [p. 147; incomplete quote]

 

Marsh (1850)

"Rewards paid by the VDL Co for the killing of predators at Woolnorth 1850–51

Name Time Program Kill Payment
Edward Marsh Aug 1850 Merino sheep Hyena 5 shillings"

Source: http://nichaygarth.com/index.php/2016/12/20/luke-etchell-1868-1948-surrey-hills-hunter-or-the-van-diemens-land-company-as-a-fur-farmer/

 

Walker (1850a)

"Rewards paid by the VDL Co for the killing of predators at Woolnorth 1850–51

Name Time Program Kill Payment
A Walker Aug 1850 Merino sheep Two hyenas 10 shillings"

Source: http://nichaygarth.com/index.php/2016/12/20/luke-etchell-1868-1948-surrey-hills-hunter-or-the-van-diemens-land-company-as-a-fur-farmer/

 

Walker (1850b)

"Rewards paid by the VDL Co for the killing of predators at Woolnorth 1850–51

Name Time Program Kill Payment
A Walker Nov 1850 Improved sheep Hyena £1-2-11"

Source: 

VDL232/1/5, p.158 (TAHO).

http://nichaygarth.com/index.php/2016/12/20/luke-etchell-1868-1948-surrey-hills-hunter-or-the-van-diemens-land-company-as-a-fur-farmer/

 

Wolf (1850a)*

Image only:

 

Publication:

"Drawing by Joseph Wolf for lithograph in Proceedings of Zoological Society of London, 1850. Pencil." (Freeman, 2005:vol. 2, 27)

"Drawing (watercolour and pencil) by Joseph Wolf. Preparatory for lithograph in Proceedings of Zoological Society, 1850. Collection: Zoological Society of London." (Freeman, 2005:vol. 2, 97)

Freeman, Carol J. (2005). Figuring extinction: Visualizing the thylacine in zoological and natural history works 1808-1936. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Tasmania: Hobart, Australia. [volume 2, p. 27]

 

Wolf (1850b)*

Image only:

 

Publication:

Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1850: pl. XVIII. [plate]

 

 

Section 1.1 Retrospective texts

Section 1. The literature

Section 2. Rejected publications

Section 3. Tabulations

 

Meredith (1852)

Publication:

Meredith, Louisa Anne ["Mrs. Charles Meredith"]. (1852). My Home in Tasmania, During A Residence Of Nine Years. London: John Murray.

Meredith, Louisa Anne ["Mrs. Charles Meredith"]. (1853). My Home in Tasmania, During A Residence Of Nine Years. New York: Bunce and Brother.

 

-----

Scientific name only:

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=AL9aAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA287&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH6pKz7eXjAhW0juYKHZETCE04MhDoAQgxMAE#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=wFe9AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA860&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiHj9X97OXjAhWT6XMBHcTcCVA4KBDoAQhHMAQ#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=V8FBAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA845&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH6pKz7eXjAhW0juYKHZETCE04MhDoAQhpMAk#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=jc4QAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA145&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH6pKz7eXjAhW0juYKHZETCE04MhDoAQhiMAg#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=M6U-AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA34&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH6pKz7eXjAhW0juYKHZETCE04MhDoAQhbMAc#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=8Yc5AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA856&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH6pKz7eXjAhW0juYKHZETCE04MhDoAQhTMAY#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=0wQOAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA4-PA69&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH6pKz7eXjAhW0juYKHZETCE04MhDoAQhMMAU#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=zXk5AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA34&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH6pKz7eXjAhW0juYKHZETCE04MhDoAQhFMAQ#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=M6gqAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA177&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPhr2f9-XjAhWU6XMBHVZbBzo4PBDoAQhTMAY#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=IXpFAAAAcAAJ&pg=RA1-PP4&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPhr2f9-XjAhWU6XMBHVZbBzo4PBDoAQhLMAU#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=BPoNAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA941&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPhr2f9-XjAhWU6XMBHVZbBzo4PBDoAQhGMAQ#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false [Thylacinus striatus]

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=_B1CAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA581&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPhr2f9-XjAhWU6XMBHVZbBzo4PBDoAQg_MAM#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=C8LKC74Df-AC&pg=PA397&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPhr2f9-XjAhWU6XMBHVZbBzo4PBDoAQg3MAI#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=LH1BAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA918&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPhr2f9-XjAhWU6XMBHVZbBzo4PBDoAQgvMAE#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=MwAVAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA50-PA9&dq=thylacinus&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPhr2f9-XjAhWU6XMBHVZbBzo4PBDoAQgpMAA#v=onepage&q=thylacinus&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=gbJFAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA136&dq=Didelphis+cynocephala&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjpkOKAxuTkAhWLV30KHVLaBl84oAEQ6AEIPDAD#v=onepage&q=Didelphis%20cynocephala&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=t3k-AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA658&dq=Didelphis+cynocephala&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwit7rKezOTkAhWBWX0KHVy6B5U4lgEQ6AEIXjAJ#v=onepage&q=Didelphis%20cynocephala&f=false

 

https://www.nla.gov.au/ferguson/14400642/18420000/00010005/61-70.pdf [p. 383, top left]

 

https://www.nla.gov.au/ferguson/14400642/18480100/00030004/21-30.pdf#page=3 [Owen: On the osteology of the Marsupialia]

 

Leipziger Literatur Zeitung, 1816, p. 861

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=EkoL_90DP3oC&pg=PA393&dq=Didelphis+cynocephala&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwinoqqHvvPkAhWbfysKHZuUDY44bhDoAQhYMAc#v=onepage&q=Didelphis%20cynocephala&f=false

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=zSZCAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA279&dq=Didelphis+cynocephala&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjwmq2nv_PkAhVZbn0KHV4ICG04ZBDoAQhdMAY#v=onepage&q=Didelphis%20cynocephala&f=false

 

-----------------------------

 

More than just scientific name?

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=0oBGAQAAMAAJ&dq=Didelphis+cynocephala&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=cynocephala

 

The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, Volume 24, Part 3, 1828

 

 

------------------------------

 

Possibly still to add:

 

Plomley, N. J. B. (1966). Friendly Mission: the Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834. Hobart: Tasmanian Historical Research Association.

Plomley, N. J. B. (2008). Friendly Mission: The Journals of George Augustus Robinson 1829-1834 (second edition). Hobart: Quintus Publishing / Launceston: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. xviii + 1162 pp.

Freeman, Carol J. (2010). Paper Tiger: A Visual History of the Thylacine. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers. [Google Books]

Freeman, Carol J. (2014). Paper Tiger: How Pictures Shaped the Thylacine (revised edition). Hobart: Forty South Publishing. 224 pp.

Wagn. Schr. Saug. Supp. iii. p. 19 (1843)

Schinz Syn. Mamm. 1844, vol. i. p. 489

Bonaparte, Carlo Luciano (Charles Lucian). (1850). Conspectus systematis: Mastozoologiae. Editio Altera Reformata. Batavia: E. J. Brill.

 

------------------------------

 

Section 2. Rejected publications

Section 1. The literature

Section 1.1 Retrospective texts

Section 3. Tabulations

This section includes publications that have been claimed by later authors (especially post-1850) to refer to the thylacine but demonstrably do not. Arguably this applies to Tasman's 1642 report, but for reasons of historical significance I have retained it in Section 1.

 

Knopwood (1803)

Text:

Saturday, 20, Wind vable. a.m.—Receivd 783 lb. of beef and mutton and 600 lb. of bread for the ships company and convicts, p.m.—Moderate and fair wr. Employd variously. This morn I went out a shooting. Saw some wild deer, but could not get a shot at them. Mr. Hutter and 2 officers, Mr. Patishall, were of the party. We see the print of a tigers paw very fresh, and of wolfes before us. I killed a brace of partriges, Receivd stock for the colony.

 

Publication:

The entry in Reverend Robert Knopwood's personal diary for 20 August 1803. Knopwood's diary is now in the Mitchell Library.

Shillinglaw, John J. (ed.). (1879). Historical Records of Port Phillip: The First Annals of the Colony of Victoria. By Authority: John Ferres, Government Printer, Melbourne.

 

Discussion:

Like Tasman's (1642) report of the footprints of a tiger ('tyger'), Knopwood's report of a tiger footprint might seem to belong to a wombat. Though you might think that 'wolfe' is very intriguing, as thylacine footprints somewhat superficially those of a canid. However, there is a major problem. Knopwood was in South Africa at the time. Indeed he didn't arrive in Tasmania until 1804, aboard the vessel "Ocean". Thus (Paddle, 2000:5) is clearly wrong:

"The 'tyger' was well known from the earliest days of colonial settlement (Knopwood: 20 August 1803, 18 June 1805; Paterson, 1805[b])"

References

Paddle, Robert N. (2000). The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Oakleigh, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. x + 273 pp.

 

Anonymous (1811)

Text:

Two animals of the hyena kind were seen at Campbell's Island by hunting parties belonging to the Mary and Sally ;  from the description given of which they appear to have been of the same species with an animal killed at Port Phillip in 1803.

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1811). ["Two animals of the hyena kind..."]. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser,  Saturday, 30 November, p. 2.

 

Discussion:

The Thylacine Museum (online) 5th revision includes this newspaper article as "One of the earliest accounts of the sighting of thylacines in the wild". However, the 1803 animal killed at Port Phillip refers to the state of Victoria, and therefore almost certainly does not refer to the thylacine. The most recent confirmed record of the species on mainland Australia is more than 3,000 years ago. While the Campbell's Island (i.e. Campbell Island) visited by the brig "Mary and Sally" is the subantarctic island 700km south of New Zealand (Crowther, 1932), and hence cannot reasonably be said to refer to the thylacine. There is no evidence, and even less motive, for somebody to have transported them there in the first place.

References

Crowther, W. L. (1932). Voyage of the “Mary and Sally” to Macquarie Island for the purpose of obtaining Sea Elephant Oil and Seal Skins. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania [1932]: 39-46.

 

von Meyer (1832)

Text (German):

Didelphys. Im Gypsgestein des Montmrtre lieght mehr als eine Art von Beutelthieren begraben. Eine derselben steht der Didelphys murina am nachsten, ist jedoch von ihr specifisch verschieden; eine andere ist der Didelphys cynocephala von Van-Diemensland, welche zu den Thylacinen gehört, am ähnlichsten. — Auch ist in der Philomatischen Gesellschaft am 25. November 1826 (Globe) mitgetheilt worden, dass bei Provins im plastichen Thone, mit anderen fossilen Orhanismen, der Unterkiefer eines Beutelthieres sich vorgefunden habe.

 

Google Translation:

Didelphys. In the gypsum of the Montmartre lies more than one type of bag-beast buried. One of them is closest to Didelphys murina, but is distinctly different from it; another is most similar to the Didelphys cynocephala of Van Diemensland, which belongs to the thylacines. Also, in the Philomatic Society on November 25, 1826 (Globe), it was reported that at Provins in the plastic Thone, with other fossil orhanisms, the lower jaw of a bag-tailed animal had found itself.

 

Publication:

von Meyer, Hermann. (1832). Palaeologica zur Geschichte der Erde und ihrer Geschöpfe. Frankfurt: Siegmund Schmerber. [p. 131]

 

Discussion:

Cuvier (1840, 1849) took the Montmartre find to belong to the thylacine, but this was thoroughly rejected by (Owen, 1843).

 

Kaup (1835)

Publication:

Kaup, Johann Jakob. (1835). Thier-Fährten von Hidelburghausen: Chirotherium oder Chirosaurus. Neues Jahrbuch für Minerologie, Geognosie, Geologie und Petrefaktenkunde [1835]: 327-328.

 

Discussion:

Included by (Thomas, 1888:256) as thylacine literature.

 

 

Anonymous/Litchfield (1840)

Text:

The dog-faced Dasyurus, or native dog, is
a marsupial animal; it chiefly inhabits the sea
coast, sits on its haunches, and employs its
anterior extremities to carry food to the
mouth; in this respect differing from the
dogs of other countries.

It feeds upon flesh, and is covered with
a dirty yellowish brown fur, with transverse
stripes of a brownish black colour on its back.
These animals occasion much annoyance to
the first settlers of a country. They associate
in large packs like wolves, and are so
cunning as frequently to baffle the attempts
made to destroy them; they are shy of men,
but commit considerable havoc among the
flocks which are out grazing. In Van Diemen's
Land it was found necessary to offer a
reward of one pound for every male and two
pounds for every female that was destroyed.

In the province it was also found necessary
to offer a reward for destroying them, but
their ravages are now pretty much confined
to the thinly settled districts.

 

Publication:

Anonymous. (1840). Lecture on the natural history of South Australia [summarises 'Dr.' Litchfield's lecture]. South Australian Record and Australasian Chronicle, Saturday, 21 March, pp. 4-5.

 

Discussion:

Paddle (2000) cites a lecture by Dr. John Palmer Litchfield, which claims that a bounty was placed upon thylacines in South Australia. Or at least according to Paddle, who has a penchant for interposing his own interpretation of other people's writings. The "province" referred to is completely ambiguous, but that doesn't stop Paddle from asserting that it is South Australia. If such were true, mainland thylacine research today would look very different. We would find newspaper reports lamenting the devastating effects of thylacines upon livestock, as we do in fact find in Tasmania. So that even if the bounty itself, like some in Tasmania, is scantly attested to (as Paddle himself has uncovered), the motivation for the bounty (i.e. claimed thylacine attacks on livestock) in the first place would be easy to find. Alas that is not the case.

In reality 'Dr.' John Palmer Litchfield was a notorious conman whose writings about the thylacine cannot be relied upon in any serious way1; a serial liar and pedagogical fraud. It is very worrying that Paddle is completely unaware of this fact. Since even a cursory look into Litchfield's background would establish that all is not right, such as via an internet search. Granted Paddle did not have access to many of the electronic resources we do almost two decades later, as the internet was still relatively new. But by the same token, his university studies and access to archival material would have more than made up for this, giving him access to information that we members of the public today still do not readily have access to. A background check of the author of a given source should be one of the (if not the first) early tasks of the researcher. Being taken in by a conman is a sign of severe intellectual myopia.

References

Paddle, Robert N. (2000). The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Oakleigh, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. x + 273 pp.

 

Notes

1 The fact that 'Dr.' Litchfield was a conman was brought to my attention by thylacine researchers Chela Tnyi (pseudonym) and Gareth Linnard, who each thoroughly researched his background.

 

 

Section 3. Tabulations

Section 1. The literature

Section 1.1 Retrospective texts

Section 2. Rejected publications

 

This section will eventually tabulate the various characters and behaviours of the thylacine as reported in the above publications. Thereby quantifying both differences and similarities in reports.

 

 

Acknowledgements

Individuals:

Neil Gill brought (Anonymous, 1832) to my attention. Albert (surname unknown) pointed out that Knopwood's journal entry for 1803 refers to South Africa. Claus Christian Brehm Castedo has translated an article from Old German for me.

 

Publications:

Freeman, Carol J. (2005). Figuring extinction: Visualizing the thylacine in zoological and natural history works 1808-1936. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Tasmania: Hobart, Australia.

Freeman, Carol J. (2007). 'In every respect new': European impressions of the thylacine, 1808-1855. reCollections 2(1): [unpaginated].

Guiler, Eric Rowland and Godard, Philippe. (1998). Tasmanian Tiger: A Lesson to be Learnt. Perth, Western Australia: Abrolhos Publishing. 256 pp.

Paddle, Robert N. (2000). The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Oakleigh, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. x + 273 pp.

Paddle, Robert N. (2014). Scientists and the Construction of the Thylacine's Extinction, pp. 143-158. In: Lang, Rebecca (ed.). The Tasmanian Tiger: Extinct or Extant? Hazelbrook, NSW: Strange Nation Publishing. 186 pp.

Thomas, Oldfield. (1888). Catalogue of the Marsupialia and Monotremata in the collection of the British Museum (Natural History). London: British Museum (Natural History). xiii + 401 pp. [p. 255-258]

 

Internet resources:

Archive.org

Biodiversity Heritage Library

Google Books

Thylacine Museum