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Chapter Summary

Illustrations of the thylacine emerged in the 1870s, 1880s, 1890s and very early twentieth century in a number of well-known and prolifically illustrated books running into multiple editions. In the images in zoological and natural history literature, the prey is either explicitly or implicitly a native animal. The thylacine is muscular and robust, rarely menacing, and sometimes has a dog-like appearance. These illustrations are motivated by an interest in habitat, behaviour and the relationships between animals indigenous to a region. These images develop the complex poses, artistic techniques, and backgrounds occasionally apparent in zoological illustrations earlier in the nineteenth century. The examples of zoological illustration in the 1880s and 1890s could be seen as an exploration of the relationship between animals and humans, including the "fragile" boundary between them, as well as part of a shift in the visual arts and science in Germany toward the material world of nature.

Keywords: natural history literature; thylacine; zoological illustration



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