February 24, 2021

Is this the Tassie Tiger lookalike?

Is this the Tassie Tiger lookalike?
Dr. Chris Brown

Despite what seemed like a confident sighting of a whole Tasmanian Tiger family this week, it now turns out it was this supposed lookalike. So can you see the resemblance?

Yes, this guy. This is the animal that this week, provided one of the strongest leads in decades in the search to prove the Tasmanian Tiger was still alive.

Meet the Pademelon. A small, adorable marsupial found in the forests of Tasmania. This is the species that, according to the Tasmanian Museum, strayed suggestively in front of a motion sensing camera in north eastern Tasmania.

I know what you’re thinking. They look nothing alike. And to add to the immediate lack of visual similarities, these guys live the vegetarian life of eating grass and seedlings compared to the carnivorous Thylacine.

So how could you possibly confuse a pademelon for the much larger, striped Tasmanian tiger? Well, aside from both species having a pouch, the pademelon also has red-brown fur and in the biggest twist, it’s fur can clump along fold lines on its neck and belly to give the illusion of stripes. So in a blurry, possibly night time image without scale or focus AND putting aside the hopping thing, maybe they might look similar-ish?

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