Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune points to themes of fate and destiny. Whether you believe in free will or feel that life is mapped out for us, we all sometimes experience that sense that something is ‘meant to be’. The Wheel of Fortune is an auspicious card for such moments, when things hang in the balance but you know in your gut that a certain outcome is ‘fated’ to happen.

As the wheel spins some animals have lost their grip and have been declared extinct.

The pig-footed bandicoot was, by all accounts, incredible. At only a few hundred grammes in weight it is thought to have been one of the smallest grazing mammals ever to have existed.This tiny bandicoot was the only marsupial to have evolved hoof-like feet. Other than this unique adaptation, however, little else is known about these enigmatic creatures.

Aboriginal people knew about these animals for around 65,000 years before the marsupials were first recorded by Europeans in 1838. Unfortunately it took just over 150 from its ‘discovery’ by Europeans for it to go extinct. This bandicoot is thought to have gone extinct at some point in the 1950s, due to the fateful combination of European arrival and land-use change that likely altered the marsupial’s habitat.

The extinction of Tasmanian tigers is only the last chapter of an old story that’s thousands of years in the telling. In recent history, Tasmanian tigers were restricted to the island of Tasmania, but they once lived on the Australian mainland and even Papua New Guinea as well.

Scientists believe that Tasmanian tigers were hunted and killed by humans and dingoes, which ultimately led to the Tasmanian tigers’ demise in those areas. Tasmania had few people and no dingoes, though, so it became a last refuge to the Tasmanian tiger and its close cousin, the Tasmanian devil. In fact, by the time white settlers first arrived in Tasmania in the 1800s, people estimated that there were only about 5,000 Tasmanian tigers left at all.

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