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Paul Willis: Re: "The Tasmanian Tiger May Live Again"

Dr. Paul Willis'  take on the thylacine sightings:
>> See:
>> http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/od/story.html?s=v/nm/19990513/od/
>> tiger_1.html for the Reuters article on Dr. Michael Archer's plans for 
>> cloning the thylacine, extinct since 1936.  There are seven baby 
>> specimens preserved in museums throughout the world.
>> Mary
>> mkirkaldy@aol.com

ashmidt@flash.net wrote:
> Excuse me but isn't it quite likely that the Thylacine still lives in small
> numbers in Tasmania as many people have seen it since it was declared
> extinct?  <SNIP>

(Paul Willis speaks:)
The idea that thylacines still exist in Tasmania lacks any credible support.
Sightings tend to be either in areas threatened with logging or are
correlated with the distance to the nearest pub.
Considering the huge effort that has gone into trying to find thylacines
since 1936 and the lack of evidence this search has turned up, I think it's
safe to assume that they've snuffed it. Then again, there just might be a
passenger pigeon out there some where having a chat with a dodo. It ain't
likely but lack of evidence and all that stuff...
I did a brief piece for radio about this. Transcripts and Real Audio of the
piece can be found at www.abc.net.au/science/correx and go to the episode
titled Cryptozoology. That episode centres around an interview with Jeanette
Muirhead who studied thylacines extensively for her PhD.
And how are all you dinodudes anyway? I hope to be back on the list in the
not too distant future but I'm bogged down in work and crocodiles at the
moment. I'll be sure to let you all know about the Robinson Crusoe Crocodile
Of The South Pacific and the series of crocs we're now getting out of
Lightning Ridge (opalised and lower Cretaceous) just as soon as we've worked
them up. There's also some really (and I mean REALLY!) exciting downunder
dinonews but I'm not at liberty to tell at the moment (what a tease!).

Dr Paul M.A.Willis
Science Broadcaster and Palaeontological Consultant
(02) 9456 2930