A previously undescribed Javan tiger Panthera tigris sondaica specimen, and other old, rare tiger specimens in the Finnish Museum of Natural History

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We describe a specimen of the extinct Javan tiger Panthera tigris sondaica in the Finnish Museum of Natural History LUOMUS (FMNH) in Helsinki, Finland. This specimen has not previously been described in the literature. It consists of the complete skeleton of a subadult individual collected in the nineteenth century, supposedly in Java. We confirmed the specimen’s identity as a Javan tiger with a DNA analysis, an identification which was supported by a morphological examination. In addition to this Javan tiger specimen, we also subjected a few other old, wild-caught tiger specimens in the collections of the FMNH to DNA analysis. Notable results of these analyses were the identification of two twentieth-century flat skin specimens of the South China tiger P. t. amoyensis, which still survives in captivity but is extinct in the wild, and a probable Malayan tiger P. t. jacksoni skull specimen. Results of a DNA analysis of one further nineteenth-century specimen, a mounted skin of a juvenile, were inconclusive beyond establishing that it originates from the Sunda Islands; however, certain features of this specimen’s pelage suggest that it, too, may be a Javan tiger.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMammal Study
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • extinction
  • haplotypes
  • mtDNA
  • Sunda Islands

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