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'In every respect new' European impressions of the thylacine, 1808 - 1855

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Freeman, CJ (2007) 'In every respect new' European impressions of the thylacine, 1808 - 1855. reCollections: Journal of the National Museum of Australia, 2 (1). pp. 5-24. ISSN 1833-4946

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Abstract

When Tasmania was settled by the British 200 years ago, the thylacine, a shy marsupial carnivore with a striped back and a coughing bark, existed in small numbers on the island. By 1936 the species was extinct. This article focuses on the first published image of the thylacine in the Transactions of the Linnean Society 1808, and traces its history over the following decades. It argues that the engraving is a sad embodiment of initial contact between Europeans and colonial fauna and that copies of this illustration develop the idea of an animal in need of extermination. Visual representations such as these in scientific and natural history works anticipated the
failure of colonial societies to preserve the animals encountered in new environments.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: reCollections: Journal of the National Museum of Australia
Publisher: National Museum of Australia
Page Range: pp. 5-24
ISSN: 1833-4946
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:25
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:34
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