Thylacine literature: 1851-1859


Anonymous (1851)

Anonymous. (1851). Reports of the council and auditors of the Zoological Society of London. London. [p. 18]


Lowry et al. (1851)

Lowry, J. W. et al. (1851). Illustrations of Zoology. London: John Joseph Griffin and Co. / Glasgow: Richard Griffin and Co. [correct authorship?]


Gunn (1852a)

Gunn, Ronald Campbell. (1852a). Zoology. In: West, John (ed.). The History of Tasmania, Volume 1. Launceston: Henry Dowling. 336 pp. [one of the first warnings of the thylacine's path towards extinction]


Gunn (1852b)

Gunn, Ronald Campbell. (1852b). A list of the mammals indigenous to Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 2(1): 77-90.


Gunn (1852c)

Gunn, Ronald Campbell. (1852c). Notes on natural history. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 2(1): 156-157. ["My living Thylacine is becoming tamer : it seems very far from being a vicious animal at its worst, and the name Tiger or Hyaena gives a most unjust idea of its fierceness."]


Gunn (1852d)

Gunn, Ronald Campbell. (1852d). Thylacinus cynocephalus. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land 2(1): 184.


Meredith (1852)

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.


Milligan (1853)

Milligan, Joseph. (1853). ["Mr. Milligan made the following remarks on the habits of the wombat, hyaena and certain reptiles"]. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 2(2): 310. ["The aborigines report that this animal is a most powerful swimmer ; that in swimming he carries his tail extended, moving it as the dog often does, and that the nose, eyes, and upper portion of the head are the only parts usually seen above water."]


Owen (1853)

Owen, Richard. (1853). Descriptive Catalogue of the Osteological Series Contained in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Volume 1. Pisces, Reptilia, Aves, Marsupialia. London: Taylor and Francis.


Anonymous (1854a)


Anonymous. (1854). Universal Exhibition of Industry at Paris. The Courier (Hobart), Tuesday, 2 May, p. 2.


Anonymous (1854b)


Others again were previously thought to be confined to Van Diemen's Land and together with some here also indigenous Mammal [illegible] the latter the Tasmanian Hyæna (Thylacinus cynocephalus) and the Tiger-cat (Dasyurus maculatus)



Anonymous. (1854). Report of the Government Botanist. Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer, Tuesday, 31 October, p. 7.



This is the earliest known usage of this common name for the species that I am currently aware of.


von Mueller (1854)

von Mueller, Ferdinand. (1854). Second general report of the Government Botanist on the vegetation of the Colony. Melbourne: Government Printer. [p. 5]



One of two references from 1854 to the common name 'Tasmanian Hyæna'.


Anonymous (1855)

Anonymous. (1855). The Tiger-wolf. (Thylacinus cynocephalus.). Excelsior: Helps to Progress in Religion, Science, and Literature, Volume 3: 246-249. [includes illustration]


Crisp (1855)

Crisp, E. (1855). On some points relating to the anatomy of the Tasmanian Wolf (Thylacinus) and of the Cape Hunting Dog (Lycaon pictus). Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1855: 188-191.


Gervais (1855)

Gervais, Paul [Gervaise, François Louis Paul]. (1855). Histoire naturelle des mammifères, avec l'indication de leurs moeurs, et de leurs... Paris: L. Curmer.


Knight (1855)

Knight, Charles (ed.). (1855). The English Cyclopædia: A New Dictionary of Universal Knowledge, Bradbury and Evans, London, pp. 697-698.


NSWEC (1855)

New South Wales Exhibition Commissioners. (1855). Catalogue of the natural and industrial products of New South Wales : exhibited in the Australian Museum by the Paris Exhibition Commissioners : Sydney, November 1854. Sydney: Printed by Reading and Wellbank. [see here]


Wagner (1855)

Wagner, J. A. (1855). Die Saugthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur, mit Beschreibungen . . . Fortgesetzt von Dr. Johann Andreas Wagner . . . Supplementband. Abtheilung 5: Die Affen, Zahnliiker, Beutelthiere, Hufthiere, Insectenfresser und Handfliigler. Leipzig: Weiger. 810 pp.


Waterhouse (1855)

Waterhouse, George Robert. (1855). Mammalia. Marsupialia or Pouched Animals. Edinburgh: W. H. Lizars / London: Henry G. Bohn. [p. 121f, Pl. 5, p. 123-128]


Anonymous (1856a)


Anonymous. (1856a). List of Industrial Products of Tasmania. The Courier, Thursday, 22 May, p. 3.

Anonymous. (1856b). Tasmania at Sydenham. Launceston Examiner, Saturday, 24 May, p. 2.

Anonymous. (1856a). List of Industrial Products of Tasmania. The Tasmanian Daily News, Saturday, 31 May, p. 6.


Anonymous (1856b)


From Messrs. Lade and Morris, of Falmouth, was received the skin of the (so-called) native tiger or hyena of Tasmania, Thylacinus Cynocephalus, which has been stuffed and mounted for exhibition in the Museum.



Anonymous. (1856). Royal Society of Tasmania. The Courier (Hobart), Saturday, 13 December, p. 3. [thylacine donated to museum]


J.M. (1856)


J. M. (1856). Sketches of Australian Zoology. III. The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, 12 June, p. 2.

J. M. (1856). Sketches of Australian Zoology. The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser (Queensland), Tuesday, 1 July 1856, p. 4. ["very destructive to sheep and poultry"]

J. M. (1856). Sketches of Australian Zoology.—No. III. South Australian Register (Adelaide,), Tuesday, 19 August 1856, p. 3.

J. M. (1856). Sketches of Australian Zoology.—No. III. Adelaide Observer, Saturday, 13 September, p. 7.


Anonymous (1857)


In Natural History Bothwell possesses...native tigers



Anonymous. (1857). Statistics of the colony. The Courier, Monday, 12 January, p. 2. 


Jan (1857)

Jan, Giorgio. (1857). Cenni sul Museo Civico di Milano ed Indice sistematico dei Rettili ed Anfibi. Milano: Giacomo Pirola. 61 pp. [the museum had/has a thylacine specimen]


Anonymous (1858a)


A NATIVE TIGER.–The body of one of these nearly obsolete animals was forwarded on Monday to the Royal Society by Mr. C. S. Henty, M.H . A., having been shot by a settler at the westward. The animal is like almost all others in Tasmania, marsupial, having the pouch or purse so well known in the kangaroo and opossum species. It has a very formidable appearance, the mouth like that of the "devil," being large, and furnished with long and very strong teeth, as white as ívory, and the jaws extending far into the skull. The tiger is marked very beautifully on the sides and tail with yellow stripes on a mouse-coloured ground, and is about two feet and a half in height, and rather more than three feet in length. The animal has been forwarded to Mrs. Touch, of Brisbane-street, for the purpose of being properly prepared for a place in the Museum, and, in the mean time, Mr. Frith, the photographic artist, is engaged on a portrait, which will be ready for exhibition to-day.



Anonymous. (1858a). A Native Tiger. The Hobart Town Daily Mercury, Thursday, 20 May, p. 3 |5|.

Anonymous. (1858b). A Native Tiger. Launceston Examiner, Tuesday, 25 May, p. 2 |7|.

Anonymous. (1858c). A Native Tiger. The Age (Melbourne), Wednesday, 26 May, p. 6.

Anonymous. (1858d). A Native TigerThe Argus, Wednesday, 26 May, p. 5.

Anonymous. (1858e). A Native Tiger. The Star (Victoria), Thursday, 27 May, p. 3 |3|.

Anonymous. (1858f). A Native Tiger. The Kyneton Observer, Thursday, 27 May, p. 2.

Anonymous. (1858g). ['The body of one of these nearly obsolete animals...']. Empire (Sydney), Monday, 31 May, p. 2.

Anonymous. (1858h). A Native Tiger. South Australian Register, Monday, 31 May, p. 3.

Anonymous. (1858i). A Native Tiger. Adelaide Observer, Saturday, 5 June, p. 2.

Anonymous. (1858j). Royal Society of Tasmania. The Courier (Hobart), Wednesday, 16 June, p. 2-3.


Anonymous (1858b)


The Secretary announced the presentation of a fine specimen of Thylacinus Cynocephalus, 'native tiger,' or 'native hyena,' of the colonists, from Charles Shum Henty, Esq, M.H.A., of Kelso, George Town, which has been stuffed and mounted and is now in the Museum. The skin is that of a full grown animal having the black bars across the back well marked and continued from the setting on of the tail up to the shoulder, the head and neck are very large, it measures 5 feet 8 inches in length, and - altogether it is a powerful animal which, fortunately for bush travellers and shepherds, is cowardly in proportion to its size. It still exists in the dense forests to the westward, but is scarcely known on the eastern or in the central portions of the Island, the vicinity of Cape Portland excepted. Its movements are nocturnal though it has occasionally been seen abroad during the day in thick cloudy weather, and probably on occasions when it has been pressed with hunger. It does not possess sufficient pluck to induce it to face a dog in fair fight, but when pursued will suddenly turn and snap like a wolf, and take to flight again. The pace of the animal even when flying for his life, is not so swift but that an ordinary kangaroo dog will soon overtake him. When on a hunting expedition he beats the brake covers, his short ears are pricked sharp up-his head is somewhat projected forward and he carries his long tail standing straight out in a horizontal position - his step and gait at the same time being slow and stealthy, like that of the cat tribe. The 'native tiger' is most destructive to sheep, killing right and left when he attacks a flock. The following is an extract of a communication recently received by the Secretary from Mr. Henty on the subject. "I sent you a Hyena which as I see by the newspapers you have received - it is wrong to suppose (as stated by the Mercury), that these animals are obsolete, four including that which I sent to the Society, having been killed between this place and Badger Head within five weeks - one of them being a female with three young in the pouch. A fifth was snared, and is doubtless dead though he has not been found. They are all taken in snares ; a large number of those being placed in their runs leading from the tiers - fixed to long stakes, such as the animal may drag out of the ground, so that it is probable he may put his foot into more than one of them and be at length brought up to die of starvation unless discovered, to have his head broken."



Anonymous. (1858). ["The Secretary announced the presentation of..."]. The Courier, Wednesday, 16 June, p. 3.


Anonymous (1858c)

Anonymous. (1858). Advertising. The Hobart Town Advertiser, Thursday, 16 September, p. 3. [a satirical piece]


Anonymous (1858d)


A very fine specimen of the Native Hyena is being exhibited at Gilbert's Buildings, Brisbane Street. It has been obtained for Wombwell's Menagerie



Anonymous. (1858). General intelligence. The Hobart Town Daily Mercury, Monday, 6 December, p. 3.


Anonymous (1858e)


Anonymous. (1858g). The British Association.—Meeting at Leeds. The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday, 25 December, p. 3.


Anonymous (1858f)


Mr. Billing has returned with his collection of wild beasts, the whole being in perfectly good order, though some of them are a little grazed by their jolting journey over our rough northern roads. He has added to the collection a marsupial wolf from Van Diemen's Land, one of the most rare and curious of our southern animals. We believe tbe menagerie is only to remain in Adelaide for a few days.



Anonymous. (1858). The wild beasts. South Australian Register, Tuesday, 28 December, p. 2.


Morris (1858)

Morris, F. O. (1858). Systema Naturæ (continued). The Naturalist; a popular monthly magazine illustrative of the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. With occasional engravings 85: 64-65.


Anonymous (1859a)

Anonymous. (1859). Museums. The Argus, Tuesday, 15 February 1859, p. 5.

Anonymous. (1859). Colonial news. The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Saturday, 5 March, p. 3.


Anonymous (1859b)


We have here no "vermin" to interfere with or molest it; the native cat is extinct in the settled district ; the native tiger is but seldom seen in even the most remote localities



Anonymous. (1859). Introduction of game and singing birds into Tasmania. The Hobart Town Daily Mercury, Monday, 14 March, p. 3.


Anonymous (1859c)


By the Concord which arrived from London, on Tuesday, Dr. Grant has imported at considerable expense, two beautiful English hounds of a peculiar breed. These hounds have an extraordinary instinct of smell, and have been introduced into Tasmania for the purpose of hunting down the native tigers, devils, &c., which are very destructive to the sheep, and Dr Grant intends sending them to Woolnorth for that purpose.



Anonymous. (1859). Town talk and table chat. The Cornwall Chronicle, Saturday, 6 August, p. 4.


Anonymous (1859d)

Anonymous. (1859). Immigration and colonization. The South Australian Advertiser, Monday, 31 October, p. 3.


Anonymous (1859e)

Anonymous. (1859). "Genus Thylacinus, Temm.", p. 147. In: Anonymous. Descriptive Catalogue of the Specimens of Natural History in Spirit Contained in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Vertebrata: Pisces, Reptilia, Aves, Mammalia. London: Taylor and Francis. xxii + 148 pp.


Mason (1859)

Mason, G. B. (1859). Australian Natural History. The Dog-headed Thylacinus (Thylacinus cynocephalus). The Australian Home Companion and Band of Hope Journal (Sydney, NSW: 1859-1861), Saturday, 16 July 1859, p. 289-290.


Milligan (1859)

Milligan, Joseph. (1859). Vocabulary of dialects of the Aboriginal tribes of Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 3: 239-274. [p. 263 'Tiger, V.D.L., (Thylacinus cynocephalus)']


Still to add:;2;4;0;2;4;4;4;0;2;4;0;0;2;4;0;2;4;0;2;4;0;2;4;0





Rejected publications:


Anonymous (1855)


NATIVE TIGER. — An animal, known here by the name of the tiger cat, as large as an English bulldog, was captured the other day on the land of Mr. Edol, Shawfield, River Ouse. The animal was brought to Hobart Town by Mr. Thompson's steamor, Ant, and will be taken by Captain Harmsworth (Heather Bell) to England.



Anonymous. (1855). Native tiger. The Courier, Friday, 14 December, p. 3.

Anonymous. (1855). Native tiger. Colonial Times, Saturday 15 December, p. 2.


Cambrian (1855a,b,c)

Cambrian. (1855a). Notes on the natural history of Australasia, letter first. Melbourne Monthly Magazine 1(2): 95-101.

Cambrian. (1855b). Notes on the natural history of Australasia, letter second. Melbourne Monthly Magazine 1(3): 164-169.

Cambrian. (1855c). Notes on the natural history of Australasia, letter third. Melbourne Monthly Magazine 1(6): 360-362.