There was some excitement online yesterday when word spread that a thylacine family could be caught on camera. The thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian tiger, was declared extinct decades ago, so a confirmed sighting would certainly be cause for celebration. Unfortunately, wildlife biologist Nick Mooney at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) reviewed the photos and determined that “it is highly unlikely that the animals are thylacines and most likely they are Tasmanian padelloons,” according to a spokesman.
This is not the first time that a possible thylacine has turned out to be a mangy fox. While thylacine sightings have been reported, none have been confirmed since 1936. According to TMAG, the museum “regularly receives requests for verification from members of the public who hope the thylacine is still with us.”
As a Tasmanian, I really believe that the thylacine trail camera will be a pallon. The guy has a history of mistaking suffermelon for yours. For those wondering how: Padys are the right color and their fur will often create the illusion of stripes, especially at the base of the tail. pic.twitter.com/IFv6SXosvk
– Jabberwocky cantankerous (@HikoryDikory) February 23, 2021
As seen in this 1935 video of Benjamin, the last captive thylacine, the animals had several distinguishing features, including striped rumps and stiff tails. Still, it’s not hard to imagine a hopeful observer seeing thylacines in photos of other animals.
As we mourn for the thylacine once again, we can also appreciate the Tasmanian pallusion that still lives. Small bushy-furred nocturnal kangaroos were once part of the diet of the carnivorous thylacine. They are now extinct in mainland Australia, but still thrive in Tasmania, and their continued existence deserves some celebration.
Take a moment to feast your eyes on the magnificence of these (verified) photos and videos of sufferingmelons. Enjoy!