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Bigger and brainier: did dingoes kill thylacines?
Phys.org ^ | May 3, 2012

Posted on 05/15/2012 11:49:59 AM PDT by presidio9

A comparison of museum specimens has found that thylacines on mainland Australia were smaller than those that persisted into modern times in Tasmania, and significantly smaller than dingoes. The last known Tasmanian thylacine died in 1936.

Measurements of the head size and thickness of limb bones of the semi-fossilised remains of thylacines and dingoes from caves in Western Australia have revealed that, on average, dingoes were larger than thylacines.

“In particular, dingoes were almost twice as large as female thylacines, which were not much bigger than a fox,” says ecologist Dr Mike Letnic, an ARC Future Fellow in the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, who led the study with colleagues at the University of Sydney. The findings are published in the journal PLoS One.

There has long been debate as to what caused the extinction of the thylacine from mainland Australia, Dr Letnic notes. Because Tasmanian thylacines were much larger than dingoes, direct confrontation between the two species was discarded as a hypothesis for the thylacine decline.

Another hypothesis is that competition between the two species may have been the cause: however, competition is not thought to be a strong driver of extinction. More recently, some authors have suggested that people caused the extinction of the thylacine through direct hunting or suppression of prey.

“We were aware of old reports that mainland thylacines were smaller than Tasmanian ones,” says Letnic. “Modern ecological studies show that larger predators frequently kill smaller predators, so we decided to test the hunch that dingoes were actually larger than thylacines and caused their extinction by killing them in direct confrontations.

“We also measured the brain size of both species and found that dingoes also had much bigger brains than thylacines, so they may have outwitted them, too.”

Dingoes appear to have had a dramatic impact on the ecology of Australia when they first arrived between 3,500-5,000 years ago, probably introduced by human seafarers, and likely also caused the extinction of the Tasmanian devil from mainland Australia (devils are still found in Tasmania, which does not have dingoes).

“However, recent studies suggest that dingoes now play an integral role in maintaining healthy balanced ecosystems by limiting the populations of herbivores and smaller predators, a role that was once filled by the thylacine,” says Dr Letnic.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: australia; cryptobiology; cryptozoology; godsgravesglyphs; marsupials; tasmaniantiger; thylacine

1 posted on 05/15/2012 11:50:02 AM PDT by presidio9
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To: presidio9

Skulls of two thylacines and a dingo from the Nullarbor in Western Australia. A thylacine, thought to be female (left); a male thylacine (middle); a dingo (right). Photo credit: Geoff Deacon.

2 posted on 05/15/2012 11:51:03 AM PDT by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does.)
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ibotdambp

(in before obligatory "The dingos at my baby" post)

3 posted on 05/15/2012 11:51:36 AM PDT by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: Revolting cat!; Slings and Arrows

Maybe the dingo ate yor’ thylacine.


4 posted on 05/15/2012 11:55:06 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Barack Obama has cut and run from what he called "the right war".)
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To: SunkenCiv

ping

5 posted on 05/15/2012 12:07:26 PM PDT by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: a fool in paradise

Was it a baby thylacine?


6 posted on 05/15/2012 12:09:36 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: presidio9

7 posted on 05/15/2012 12:18:15 PM PDT by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: presidio9

George BUSHMAN’S FAULT!...............


8 posted on 05/15/2012 12:20:38 PM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: JRios1968

Obama grub.


9 posted on 05/15/2012 12:37:02 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: Red Badger
George BUSHMAN’S FAULT!...............

Points for effort, but wrong continent. The Bushman are relatives to our president.

10 posted on 05/15/2012 12:39:35 PM PDT by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: presidio9

I thought it was David that killed the giant thylacine with a sling stone...


11 posted on 05/15/2012 12:43:35 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: presidio9

Reminds me of the joke about the shortest Bushman joke.


12 posted on 05/15/2012 12:57:16 PM PDT by EggsAckley ( There's an Ethiopian in the fuel supply ! ! ..)
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To: presidio9
I have always thought that the dead “Chupacabras” from the American Southwest look like Tasmanian Thylacine’s with some sort of disease. The pictures I have seen on the web all seem to have the telltale stripes on the hind quarters and the tail that seems to point slightly down. It also seems plausible that a few of these things were brought to America for whatever reason and eventually escaped or just let go. Anyway, they look similar to me.
13 posted on 05/15/2012 1:12:15 PM PDT by TexGuy (If it has the slimmest of chances of being considered sarcasm ... IT IS!)
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To: TexGuy
You're not alone
14 posted on 05/15/2012 1:19:33 PM PDT by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: presidio9

15 posted on 05/15/2012 1:32:09 PM PDT by Beowulf9
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To: presidio9; Fred Nerks; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks presidio9.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


16 posted on 05/15/2012 4:34:21 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: presidio9

That poor thing looks so miserable.


17 posted on 05/15/2012 5:11:10 PM PDT by Mmogamer (I refudiate the lamestream media, leftists and their prevaricutions.)
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To: SunkenCiv
The indigenous dog of Indonesia is a dead-ringer for the aussie dingo, aboriginal rock-art shows the thylacine...

...but every attempt at trying to find an image of the Indonesian dog resulted in images of captured dogs in bags being beaten with sticks whilst still alive to tenderize their meat...and scenes of street vendors selling cooked dog in Indonesia.

The wild dog of South East Asia most resembles the dingo:

DOHLES IN A PACK.

New Guinea Singing DogDingo on Frazer Island, Australia.

THYLACINE everything you might want to know

There is evidence for year-round breeding, although the peak breeding season was in winter and spring, producing up to 4 cubs per litter (typically 2 or 3), carrying the young in a pouch for up to 3 months and protecting them until they were at least half adult size. Early pouch young were hairless and blind, but they had their eyes open and were fully furred by the time they left the pouch. After leaving the pouch until they were developed enough to assist, the juveniles would remain in the lair while the female hunted.

18 posted on 05/15/2012 7:10:59 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
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To: Fred Nerks
every attempt at trying to find an image of the Indonesian dog resulted in images of captured dogs in bags being beaten with sticks whilst still alive to tenderize their meat

Two words:

Barrack Obama

19 posted on 05/15/2012 7:39:43 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1211 of our ObamaVacation from reality [and what dark chill/is gathering still/before the storm])
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To: null and void

hmmm...I rather like the idea...can I bring my own stick?


20 posted on 05/15/2012 7:46:03 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (fair dinkum!)
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To: Fred Nerks

Thanks FN!


21 posted on 05/15/2012 8:14:08 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Fred Nerks

Thank you for the link!


22 posted on 05/15/2012 8:54:21 PM PDT by Silentgypsy
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To: presidio9
“We also measured the brain size of both species and found that dingoes also had much bigger brains than thylacines, so they may have outwitted them, too.”

;-)

23 posted on 05/16/2012 3:10:59 AM PDT by Condor51 (Yo Hoffa, so you want to 'take out conservatives'. Well okay Jr - I'm your Huckleberry)
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To: Fred Nerks

Of course! Get in line.


24 posted on 05/16/2012 7:05:08 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1212 of our ObamaVacation from reality [and what dark chill/is gathering still/before the storm])
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