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An animal that is extinct for years will return to live in Australia

You can put a tiger in a cage, but you cannot be sure of taming it. Charles Bukowski was more than right, but he probably never would have imagined that his punishment would be more appropriate than ever. extinct animal. It’s always a tiger, but it’s a tiger Tasmania.

Thylacinus cynocephalus, that’s the full name of the specimen we’re talking about, it was officially declared extinct in 1982, but four decades later things can change in a surprising way. In fact, a team of researchers is working hard to recreate the tiger’s genetic heritage in the lab and bring it back to life.

The project is great to say the least. As it happens in Mexico, where everything is done to “revive” a fish that disappeared forever almost twenty years ago, in this case, the ambitious search champion is Australia.University of Melbourne Received an important donation to give the extinct animal a second chance; But how can this thing be achieved? The university received a huge amount of 5 million dollars, which indicates the fact that it is an expensive and complex business. The DNA sequencing It will be essential.

Relatives of the Tasmanian tiger

The genome of the Tasmanian tiger is considered to be of very high quality among all the extinct species in the world. There is already a DNA sequence related to this extinct animal’s closest “relative” that would serve as basic genome. Moreover, thanks to accurate bioinformatics and computational work, it will be possible to identify different genomes and to interfere with existing differences. The species that will be considered with the most interest for the project related to Tasmanian Tiger It is the fat-tailed marsupial mouse, and will also aim to protect other “vulnerable” Australian marsupials, such as koalas that unfortunately may be gone.

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extinctions in australia

In Australia, the numbers regarding animal risks are staggering. In fact, in the past 200 years, they had literally disappeared 40 mammalsBut it is not the only country suffering from these problems. Around the world there are one extinct animal after another, partially offset by the discoveries of new species, as happened in particular on the ocean floor. As for the Tasmanian tiger, the specimen was described for the first time In 1808: It was located in Australia itself, but also in Tasmania (hence the name) and in New Guinea. As long as he was alive, he even kept important records.

It was in fact the last living species of its family, Thylacinidae, as well as the largest carnivorous marsupial and even the largest predator in Oceania, even if primacy in the latter case returned to 3500 years ago. It was very similar to dogs and its survival has always been associated with damage to cattle ranches. That is why it was constantly hunted in Tasmania, where hunting activity contributed to its extinction. A new era is about to open for the genre, among other things Australia has declared its protection In 1936.

Earl Warner

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