|Common Name||Tasmanian Tiger and Tasmanian Wolf|
|Range||Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea|
The Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) is an species of marsupial that is native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea.
Taxonomic and evolutionary history
The thylacine resembled a large, short-haired dog with a stiff tail which smoothly extended from the body in a way similar to that of a kangaroo. Many European settlers drew direct comparisons with the hyena, because of its unusual stance and general demeanour. Its yellow-brown coat featured 13 to 21 distinctive dark stripes across its back, rump and the base of its tail, which earned the animal the nickname, "Tiger". The stripes were more marked in younger specimens, fading as the animal got older. One of the stripes extended down the outside of the rear thigh. Its body hair was dense and soft, up to 15 mm (0.6 in) in length; in juveniles the tip of the tail had a crest. Its rounded, erect ears were about 8 cm (3.1 in) long and covered with short fur. Colouration varied from light fawn to a dark brown; the belly was cream-coloured.
Distribution and habitat
Ecology and behavior
Relationship with humans
- The thylacine was a nocturnal and crepuscular hunter, spending the daylight hours in small caves or hollow tree trunks in a nest of twigs, bark or fern fronds.
- A mummified carcass of a Thylacine has been found in a cave on the Nullabor Plain.
- The Tasmanian Tiger's legacy still lives on and has a significant cultural impact. Since 1996, the 7th of September (the date in 1936 on which the last known thylacine died) has been commemorated in Australia as National Threatened Species Day. In the Coat of Arms of Tasmania thylacines as supporters.