Tasmanian tiger diversity

12 May 2012

Interview with

Nell Barrie

Kat -  And moving to another sad story, this one's about an animal that's already become extinct, the Tasmanian tiger.  This is research that's published in PLoS One by Dr. Brandon Menzies and his team at the University of Melbourne, obviously in Australia where the Tasmanian tiger lived.  Now, they've been doing a lot of research onto the evolution of Tasmanian tigers and looking at old samples and found that they have very poor genetic diversity.  So for example, when you look at DNA changes in certain parts of the genome, dogs have like 5 to 6 differences between individuals.  Tasmanian tigers only average about one difference there, not very diverse at all.  And luckily or maybe unluckily, the Tasmanian tiger actually got hunted to extinction by bounty hunters before it could go extinct.

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