Australian Scientists to Resurrect Tasmanian Tiger Extinct for 100 Years

Tasmanian Tiger
Courtesy of Vivian Taylor Flickr (CC0)

Extinction for animals is never pretty, as it represents the end of a species virtually forever, animals serve as products of nature and come in all forms. For the Tasmanian Tiger, its extinction was met almost 100 years ago, the good news is that scientists aim to resurrect the creature.

This carnivorous marsupial used to roam the Australian bush, hunting smaller animals as part of its diet. Scientists will begin working to clone the Tasmanian Tiger giving it life once again. They will harness ancient DNA, artificial reproduction, and genetic engineering to resurrect the animal.

Andrew Pask, a professor at the University of Melbourne and head of its Thylacine Integrated Genetic Restoration Research Lab, will lead the project. Pask is a strong advocate of sustaining “biodiversity” in the animal kingdom but, does not see a “slowing down in species loss.”

Tasmanian Tiger
Courtesy of Morgan Thiesson Stavostr (CC0)

The thylacine disappeared everywhere except the Australian island of Tasmania, this was 2000 years ago being the only marsupial apex predator to exist during modern times, Though it was important to its ecosystem, humans did not take a liking to the tiger.

This groundbreaking project is not a lone effort, Colossal Biosciences founded by tech giant Ben Lamm and Harvard Medical School geneticist George Church will collaborate with the Pask as they have pledged a $15 million effort to bring back the woolly mammoth. The technology utilized in this process can prove to be useful and pivotal in further research to revive other extinct animals.

The Tasmanian Tiger did not die out naturally but was rather wiped out by European settlers on the island of Australia in the 1800s. Thylacines were blamed by settlers for livestock loss. Though it was not the case, the semi-nocturnal and carnivorous cats were hunted until there were virtually none left.

The last thylacine living in captivity died from exposure in 1936 at the Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart, Tasmania, with the thylacine being extinct since.

Written by Mikal Eggleston
Edited by Sheena Robertson


WRAL: Scientists plan the resurrection of an animal that’s been extinct since 1936; by Katie Hunt

ABC 7: Tasmanian tiger de-extinction: Scientists plan to resurrect thylacine, extinct since 1936 by ABC 7

Featured Image Courtesy of Vivian Taylor‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of Morgan Thiesson Stavostr‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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