There was some excitement on the Internet yesterday when a rumor spread that a thylacine family was potentially caught in front of the camera. Tylacin, also known as the Tasmanian tiger, has been declared extinct decades ago, so the confirmed sighting will certainly be a cause for celebration. Unfortunately, wildlife biologist Nick Mooney of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) reviewed the photos and found that “the animals are very unlikely to be thylacins and most likely Tasmanian pademeloni,” according to a spokesman.
This is not the first time that a possible thylacin has turned out to be a pademelon or larva. Although there have been reports of sightings of thylacine, none have been confirmed since 1
As a Tasmanian, I really think the thylacine path will be a pademelon. The man has a history of confusing a pademelon with this one. For those who are wondering how: Paddies are the right color and their fur often creates the illusion of stripes, especially at the base of their tail. pic.twitter.com/IFv6SXosvk
– Cantankerous Jabberwocky (@HikoryDikory) February 23, 2021
As seen in this 1935 Benjamin video, the last thylacine in captivity, the animals had several distinctive features, including stripes and stiff tails. However, it is not difficult to imagine a hopeful observer seeing thylacins in photographs of other animals.
While we complain about thylacine once again, we can appreciate the still-living Tasmanian pademelon. Small nocturnal wallabies with thick fur were once part of the carnivorous thylacine diet. They are now extinct in mainland Australia, but still thrive in Tasmania, and their continued existence deserves some celebration.
Take some time to enjoy the splendor of these (verified) photos and videos of pademelons. Enjoy!