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May 21, 2008

SCIENTISTS

Insane, or just severely out of touch with reality? We report; you decide.

(Thanks to Dr. Doug)

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A Tasmanian tiger mouse?

Melbourne Scientists Play Cat and Mouse Games.

Samples preserved in alcohol? So the frat boys will live on forever when their DNA is inserted into rats?

this explains the gough island mice...

Now I'm not saying I'd like a Tasmanian Tiger roaming about my backyard and I'm not a huge fan of animal testing either but, if were going to continue to destroy habitat and indiscriminately kill off entire species at the rate we currently are,
I can't help but feel,
as twisted as this news may be,
it's good news none the less.

You know, I can think of a lot more desirable extinct things to resurrect than that.

Well, I could, if I had more coffee.

"Extinct gene function" WBA(appropriate)NFA(rap)B...

"Muwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! IT'S ALIVE!!!!!..."

This wasn't the case here, but every time they find a living example of a species that they thought was long extinct, I think "Jurassic Park". After all, if you were going to try and bring extinct species back to life, wouldn't you start with small stuff, like Vietnamese jungle rats, instead of a T-Rex?

$%@#&?^ &%#@*%!!

(translation: fresh meat!!)

Scientists are not insane, just hungry for grant money.

*hopes my boss doesn't read this*

Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that's how it always starts. Then later there's running and screaming.

Ever seen the old movie of one of these things? When it opens its mouth its lower jaw extends back behind its ears, and there are teeth the WHOLE way. Could bite a dingo's 'ead off in one bite, I'd say.

Bring these guys back and you're gonna need a better sheep corral.

They called them mad at the institute.
(and they were right)

Carnivorous Marsupials WBAGNFARB

A boffin at Melbourne U
thought he'd snag a new prize for the Zoo.
So he cloned a thylacine --
that's Tasmanian tiger to you, old bean --
and it chomped him right in two

I hate to be the only one defending these guys, but here goes:

BEGIN RANT

1. They were hunted to extinction on the grounds that they looked dangerous. They weren't.

2. There is no record of these animals attacking humans.

3. There are no confirmed cases of them attacking livestock either. They got blamed for it because they were seen scavenging from sheep that had died from other causes. The 'tigers' were notoriously slow. Catching a sheep would be a huge challenge for one.

4. They were less dangerous than dingos -- in fact when dingos were introduced to the Australian mainland, they completely displaced the 'tigers.' Dingos, and other feral dogs, are way meaner than the 'tigers' ever were.

5. Big teeth or no, they fed almost entirely on small, rodent-size marsupials.

6. Tasmanian 'tigers' were also called
Tasmanian 'wolves.' They were the strongest example of evolutionary convergence ever found in nature. They had arrived indepentantly at the same skeletal structure seen in wolves, as a result of being under similar evolutionarly pressures. Behaviorally though, they were far more docile than wolves. Frankly, it pisses me off that I can't study one because some paranoid shepherds Down-Under got trigger happy.

The bottom line is that these animals were killed because people didn't like the look of them -- not because they a threat to anyone. What percentage of the world population would be left if we hunted down everyone who was snaggle-toothed and homely?

END RANT

What D. Esker said.

Esker, the Tazmanian Human was also killed off. I think trigger happy is an understatement. These guys were homicidal maniacs.

Snaggle toothed, homely AND invisible.

Hey, I'm fine with them bringing them back. In fact, I've heard that there is a small colony of them living in Australia that are loosely protected by folks that have seen them but won't help anyone find them, including the producers of the nature show I saw. If I were in that position I'd probably do the same thing (once I made sure the pets were indoors).

"Nope, no Tasmanian tigers here, move along please."

I don't understand how this article is seen as worthy of snarky comments. It's valid research, not even "wacky" research.

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