The search for the extinct Tasmanian tiger

Or: What to do if you encounter an extinct animal.

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No. 1: What to do if you encounter an extinct animal.

Be cool. (And document the beast.)

Here: A Rogues' Gallery of the No Longer Extinct...But first, the case of Thylacinus cynocephalur, or, perhaps now, the not extinct Tasmanian tiger of Australia.

Getting something in over the transmitter: The last thylacine died in 1936. "Extinct" means no longer in existence, yet, people keep reporting sightings—five thousand in the last 80 years.

Pardon this interruption—Popular Science presents "A Brief Note." The Tasmanian tiger, as seen here, is not a feline, despite its name. Nor is it a dog, like this dingo. It is, in fact, a marsupial, like this noble kangaroo. And that was Popular Science presents "A Brief Note."

In Queensland, Australia scientists have called recent sightings "plausible." An official search for the Tasmanian tiger is underway.

No. 2: What to do if you are ever declared extinct (But you aren't.)

Either A) Ride it out, or B) Call your congressperson.

We return to A Rogues' Gallery of the No Longer Extinct. Also known as—"Hey, where'd you go? Oh there you are."

The mighty coelacanth.

  • Extinct 66 million years ago.
  • Ah, rediscovered in 1938 off the coast of South Africa.

The Cropan's Boa.

  • Not for the faint of heart.
  • Missing in action since 1953.
  • Until early 2017 when the snake was found in Brazil's Atlantic Forest.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific Northwest... We got you this time, the Humboldt Marten.

  • Disappeared in 1947.
  • Spotted again in the early 2000s.

Brace yourself. The Lord Howe Island Stick-Insect.

  • From Lord Howe Island, naturally.
  • Thought to be extinct in the 1920s.
  • Turns out, the insects found refuge on nearby Ball's Pyramid.

Earth is a big place, dear viewers. Sometimes, animals get misplaced. But, in this case, misplaced also means on the brink of extinction. Hope to see you soon, Tasmanian tiger.

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