Scientists have sequenced the genes of the Tasmanian Tiger


The Tasmanian Tiger, a long extinct marsupial carnivore, is a clear example of humans’ lack of care for other species that inhabit our world, and it is estimated that the extinction of this species has been the over hunting of this animal .

The animal, known scientifically as Thylacinus cynocephalus, saw its species extinct, according to records, in 1936, date on which was seen the last living specimen of this species, which inhabited the world for tens of millions of years, but now, thanks to scientists who proceed to the sequencing of the Tasmanian Tiger genome, we may have access to some answers as to the reason for the death of its last specimen.

Although the Thylacinidae family had faced a mass extinction in Australia about 3000 years ago, mainly due to the lack of adaptation to other rival predators, it survived until the 20th century in Tasmania, perhaps due to the elevation of oceans to about 14 000 years ago have contributed to their survival.

But because of this animal’s attacks on cattle, the Australian goveno attributed rewards to anyone who helped to eliminate them, and was then declared extinct in 1936. Little is known about their behavior, dieat and habitat, and even about which is its closest living relative, but thanks to this genetic sequencing, the scientists may now be able to answer to some questions.

Prior to the extinction of the animal, some samples of the animal were preserved for future studies, and it was based on that samples that the researchers at the University of Adelaide and the University of Melbourne made the sequencing.

According to the sequencing data, the animal belongs to a brother family of the Devil’s family of Tasmania, the Dasyuridae. It also proves that the animal is the direct product of a convergent evolution, which is basically a situation in which two animals developed, as well as a condition of adapting and subsisting in environments.

Despite being a marsupial, a Tasmanian tiger skull resembles rather the fox or a gray wolf, than to the skulls of his closest relatives.

Due to the isolation of the animal from Australia, its genetic diversity and health have also become quite weak, according to the study, and the animal would already have been in a genetic decline, thus being one of the motives for its extinction, of course without removing the blame of the humans who hunted a species until its extinction.

The study data may also help the researchers to help another endangered species, the Tasmanian devil.