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Creatures, Myths & Legends

Firm develops Tasmanian tiger DNA detector

By T.K. Randall
November 21, 2020 · Comment icon 33 comments



Could there still be thylacines alive in the wilds of Australia ? Image Credit: Benjamin A. Sheppard
A genetic science company in Australia has developed a way to detect the presence of thylacines out in the wild.
Officially thought to have gone extinct decades ago, the thylacine (or Tasmanian tiger) was a distinctive carnivorous marsupial native to Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea.

Sporadic reports of alleged thylacines in the wild however have continued even to the present day, leading many researchers to believe that the species has managed to survive against all odds.

Conclusively proving this however has long proven to be a major challenge.

Now though, thylacine researcher Michael Moss has enlisted the services of EnviroDNA - a firm which analyzes environmental DNA (eDNA) to determine which species are living in any given area.
Such DNA traces may be found in skin cells, hairs and saliva that animals leave behind. By taking samples of the soil in a given area, the DNA of each species can be identified.

Now the team at EnviroDNA has used an analysis of the DNA from a preserved thylacine pup to expand its species library to include the Tasmanian tiger.

If a positive match can be found, it would suggest that there are still living thylacines roaming around.

So far the test has only been done on a preserved thylacine hair, however it should be possible to start analyzing general samples for signs of the species in the near future.

It will certainly be interesting to see what, if anything, the team finds.

Source: EnviroDNA | Comments (33)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #24 Posted by joseraul 6 months ago
Can the Thylacine and Chupacabra have a baby? A Thylacabra, if you will?
Comment icon #25 Posted by oldrover 6 months ago
No. Last definite evidence is still from 92 years ago. 
Comment icon #26 Posted by Stiff 6 months ago
Of course. It probably happens all the time.  I'd like one as a pet if anyone comes across one.
Comment icon #27 Posted by openozy 6 months ago
No.
Comment icon #28 Posted by Resume 6 months ago
Not Wile E. Coyote, but his cousin Mange E.
Comment icon #29 Posted by stereologist 6 months ago
The type-3 chupacabra looks nothing like the original type 1 chupacabra. Seems that there is ignorance and confusion on this issue especially when the stuffed animal is a known animal. Cryptids such as the type-3 chupacabra are based on ignorance and a lack of understanding. The chupacabra type-1is shown below. Notice that it is a humanoid with visible fangs and spines jutting out the back. The type-3 is the third iteration f using the name chupacabra to denote something.
Comment icon #30 Posted by the13bats 5 months ago
  Nice highjacking of a thread slick. I laugh because you are hysterical at times with your utter nonsense. Ill dim it down for you since you do not do your homework. The orignal chupacabra wasnt even reconized by The International Society of Cryptozoology as a possible undiscovered creature because they considered it saying it nicely to be folklore, it didnt exist nothing to debunk. Lots of money was made off the idea but people got board and it faded away. Then by the time a few attention seeking profiteers in texas got involved it wasnt anything even close to the orginal chupra it was the w... [More]
Comment icon #31 Posted by DieChecker 5 months ago
I wonder if the detector was ever tested using real thylocene DNA, or if they just loaded up genome sequencing data. 
Comment icon #32 Posted by simplybill 5 months ago
This article from 2008 appears to me to give the best explanation for the Chupacabra. Its unusual behavior and odd appearance are merely the results of cross-breeding between different types of canines that don’t normally interbreed. From the article: “Results from Texas State University stated the animal is from the coyote family. But Canion wanted to know more, so she sent more DNA, tooth and tissue samples, off to California. Results from the University of California at Davis show the animal is in fact a mutt: on the mother's side it is part coyote. "On the paternal side, it had Mexican wol... [More]
Comment icon #33 Posted by Hyperionxvii 5 months ago
It's already been developed. It's called a cell phone and it has been totally ineffective. 


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