This 1933 video of the last living thylacine is a haunting look at a now-extinct species
We tend to think of extinct species as creatures from the distant past, whose habits and physiology we can only guess at from fossil evidence. But that doesn’t take into account how relentless humans are about wiping out entire categories of animal! We’ve definitely deep-sixed a few since the invention of video, meaning that we have animated visual reminders of what we lost. For instance, this 1933 video of the last thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, in captivity.
It’s sort of amazing to watch this if you’re a weird-animal fan, because it’s so clearly similar to current species — unlike, say, a T. rex or a ground sloth, which obviously come from a different era — while simultaneously being not exactly like anything you’ve ever seen in life. (And actually, it’s even a bit weirder than it looks, since it has a wild-dog appearance but is actually a marsupial like a kangaroo or wombat.)
This thylacine, named Benjamin, died in captivity in 1936, years after the animals were wiped out in the wild by farmers protecting their livestock.
- The last of a species, caught on film , Boing Boing