THYLACINE - The Case in Defence

Chapter 2

THYLACINE: THE PRE-WAR STORY

The beginning of the Tiger's story lies in the mysteries of time. From what pre-historic animal it evolved, where it came from, how far it wandered before being stranded on a far-away island in the Southern Seas is not known. Stranded it was and there it lived - a carnivorous (meaning flesh-eating) marsupial (meaning carrying its young in a pouch) - top of the food chain... except for humans.

At first man was not a problem to the Tiger. Like the Tiger itself, the Tasmanian Aborigines were stranded when the earth’s climate grew warmer and the world’s great ice sheets began to melt. As the ice continued to melt, the oceans expanded and the sea level rose... 10 feet... 50 feet... 100 feet... 300 feet.

Tasmania was no longer a very large peninsula on the southern end of Terra Incognito. It was now the mysterious Southern Continent’s biggest island... and would one day become Australia’s island State!

ABOUT TASMANIA

Tasmania is Australia’s smallest, coolest, and only island-state. It is also Australia’s most mountainous and forested state. Tasmania is separated from mainland Australia by treacherous Bass Strait. The rugged West Coast is blasted by the fierce gales of the Roaring Forties and the sweeping surf of the Indian Ocean. To the south lies the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic Continent. To the East, sweeping beaches and rocky headlands face the Tasman Sea and New Zealand’s South Island.

The Tasmanian Aborigines were mostly coastal dwellers whose main source of food came from the sea. The Tiger was a scrub and forest dweller whose main source of food came from wallabies and kangaroos as they grazed. Man and Tiger were not in conflict, so the Tassie Tiger was the hunter not the hunted... that is, until white man came!

OTHER UNIQUE TASMANIAN MAMMALS

    TASMANIAN DEVIL - ‘jaws on paws’ with a small bear’s body
    PLATYPUS - an egg-laying mammal (monotreme) with a duck’s bill and webbed feet
    ECHIDNA - another monotreme with a hedgehog’s spikes and bird’s beak

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