Seventy-six years after the last known Tasmanian tiger died in a zoo in Hobart, Tasmania, two bikers, brothers Levi and Jarom Triffitt, said they found the skull and jawbone of the said animal, also known as thylacine. They made the discovery while on a bike ride in the northern part of Tasmania.
The thylacine resembles a dog but is actually a large marsupial with brown fur and black stripes; it was indigenous to Tasmania, an island off the south coast of Australia. The find caused quite an excitement, given that the thylacine is supposed to be extinct and, despite many reported sightings over the past years, this is the first time that evidence of supposed thylacine bones have been found.
The Tasmanian tiger has become this part of the world’s Bigfoot, except for the fact that this animal really existed; Andrew Pask, an Australian zoologist from the University of Melbourne and a thylacine expert, says that notwithstanding the repeated sightings, thylacines no longer exist.
Pask, during a podcast interview on the MonsterTalk, said, “Since it was named extinct, every year people come forth and say there’s been sightings of the thylacine. But there’s been no evidence ever brought forward for it. A few years ago in Australia there was a magazine that offered a million dollar reward for actual proof of a living thylacine in the wild. So people set off in droves trying to find the thylacine, but nobody was ever able to. Tasmania’s not that big, and even its most inaccessible parts are not that inaccessible… I think if these were out there in the wild they would have been discovered by now.”
After examination of the skull discovered by the Triffitt brothers, Tasmania’s Queen Victoria Museum identified the bone as canine. The skull of the large marsupial does resemble that of a dog’s but most people would not know to look for the two extra front teeth in the upper jaw of a thylacine skull, which differentiates it from the skull of a dog. While the brothers insist that the zoologists are mistaken and what they found is evidence that thylacines are still out in the wild, experts are positive that the Tasmanian tiger has gone the same way as the dinosaurs.