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on May 14, 2002
i write this recommendation to emphasise to potential readers that this is a very worthy study of the extinction of the Thylacine. whilst true that this book will not inspire hope that this most unique of creatures survives, it does unravel the reasoning behind it's rapid fall into extinction. Paddle offers a gentle introduction to the species' biology and ecology, aswell as a history in captivity, but it is his research of bounty records and contemperary accounts that sets this work above others. scientific maybe, but well planned, researched and written, and the twist he brings in regarding the reason for the bounty is worthy of an agatha christie novel! an excellent piece of work and well suited to conservation biologists, natural historians and anyone with an interest in the twentieth century's greatest loss.
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on January 23, 2014
A very well written and comprehensively documented book. The author has gone to a lot of trouble to back his views as any dedicated historian should. Paddle has uncovered many myths about the thylacine and has revealed the fact the humans would have benefited by the loyalty and companionship of this creature. The thylacine has many things in common with the domesticated dog (though of course it is a marsupial. )
This does not mean I agree with everything Paddle says but he does uncover attitudes all too common in the study of any historical subject. That is the tendency to generalise from one example. For example because one thylacine wouldn't eat wombat in one particular place the idea got around that 'thylacines wouldn't eat wombat.' A small point, I know, but this tendency to generalise from one example is very common in historical studies. It is related to the laziness of people who want simple answers when in fact history is often very complex. Paddle demonstrates a complex view of the history of the thylacine.
Not being an evolutionist I see the history of the thylacines differently than Paddle though I have great respect for the effort and professionalism he has put into this book. Paddle is honest in the sense he would be extremely happy to be proved wrong and that the thylacine still exists. (Not stated in this book but in an interview.)
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on February 21, 2014
An excellent book from some one who grew up in Southern Tasmania and knew people who had seen this animal in the wild.
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on December 10, 2014
A few months ago I became interested in learning about extinct animals. I'm glad I got this book
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on May 21, 2015
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on March 18, 2001
Robert Paddle's controversial book, The Last Tasmanian Tiger, attempts to overturn most previously accepted anecdotal reasoning on a subject that is fast becoming popular world wide. Paddle has rather recklessly thrown caution to the wind in his sometimes dangerous dismantilling of sound anecdotal evidence, replacing it with his own logic, which is in many cases sadly wide of the mark. The Last Tasmanian Tiger could prove to be a dangerous book in the wrong hands, for it could lead astray those tender souls genuinely seeking information of this unique creature. Being pro-scientific as it is, Paddle's book is written in a style that can be hard to decipher for us mere mortals. But, all this aside, Paddle has done a tremendous ammount of research in assembling his book, some of it ground breaking, and from this point alone it makes worthwhile reading. The Last Tasmanian Tiger is definitely not suitable for the novice thylacine enthusiast.
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