via Hipertextual

Planet Earth has gone through so many changes since it settled billions of years ago. During those changes, different species of animals and plants had disappeared, and modern science has tried to describe those lost species. Among the millions of animals that have become extinct, there are some that stand out from the rest, like the Tasmanian tiger.

The last of these animals, called Benjamin, died in 1936 when all of the pictures were still in black and white. He lived in the Australian Hobart zoo during all of his life, but they were native to Tasmania, Australia, and New Guinea. Even though you would think it was a feline, it was actually a marsupial that looked like the mix of a hyena and a wolf.

We know a few things about this shocking animal like they have a stripped back, they were good at digging burrows, and they were the biggest carnivorous marsupial lemon to date. But we as a modern society never saw a picture of a Tasmanian tiger in color, other than drawings and illustrations.

Thanks to the director of Composite Films, Samuel-François Steininger, 85 years later we are able to see how this animal actually was, since they worked in a restoration of pictures study that brought color to the tiger’s archives from the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

The now colored pictures are from the Hobart zoo in 1933 and they used some taxidermic specimens to try to make the perfect colors. However, these stuffed tigers were so old that their fur had discolored. Benjamin’s last pictures weren’t in the best condition, so they couldn’t be part of the restoration.

Steininger showed a full-colored video of Benjamin walking through his cage, laying on the ground, sniffing the air, scratching, yawning, and doing all of his daily things. This is the longest video known of the Tasmanian tiger, being 80 seconds long.

According to some studies, the Tasmanian tiger extinction was humanity’s fault, after they were accused of eating the sheep of the people and they started to be hunted along with the destroying of their habitat, but also, they disappeared because of the natural selection process where they had to fight against Australian dingos which were stronger than them.

There are a lot of theories that the Tasmanian tiger actually never was completely extinct, but the last specimens hid under burrows while they were migrating far away from humans and civilization. Thousands of people had affirmed that they had seen a Tasmanian tiger running through the jungle, but this hasn’t been confirmed.