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Chapter Summary

The disparate images of the thylacine that appear in zoological and natural history works produced in Britain and continental Europe between 1820 and 1850 show how perceptions of the animal altered as specimens and ideas slowly flowed back and forth between the colony of Van Diemen's Land and Europe. One of the many reasons it was difficult to produce an accurate image of the thylacine in Europe during the first half of the nineteenth century was because a living animal was not available. Transformations in visual and verbal constructions of the species in the first half of the nineteenth century and the new features with which some of them were endowed, operated to the detriment of the thylacine and supported the interests of stakeholders in the wool industry.

Keywords: European specimens; thylacine; Van Diemen's land



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