The Tasmanian Tiger (also referred to as the Thylacine, Thylacinus cynocephalus, or "dog-headed pouched-dog") is a husky carnivore in the marsupial family believed to have gone extinct. Also known as the Tasmanian Wolf, it typically had grainy hair that was goldish to brown and sometimes even gray. Despite possessing a large head resembling a wolf, their legs were short. They also had stubby, rounded ears that would stand erect. Most had roughly 46 teeth, and the males were typically larger than the females.
Facts About the Tasmanian Tiger
- Female Tasmanian Tigers possessed a pouch that opened in the back, fitting litters of four or fewer. Their offspring were dependent on them until they were nearly half-grown. Interestingly, males also had a similar pouch, though not as large.
- They were generally nocturnal. Their movements were slow and rigid. They would hunt solo or in pairs.
- Their food of choice was kangaroos. More animals in the Tasmanian Tiger diet included other marsupials, birds, and rodents. After European colonization, there were some reports that they began preying on livestock, such as chickens and sheep.
- Besides living in Tasmania, the large marsupial also resided in New Guinea and all over Australia. In Tasmania, they were known to frequent the northern and eastern coasts along with the midland plains.
- The last generations of Tasmanian Tigers were confined exclusively to Tasmania. It's been over seventy years since their last confirmed sighting.
- Its cause of extinction is not known for sure. Although, many speculate that it may have resulted from competing Dingos or even human hunters. The introduction of domesticated dogs is another theory. Most explanations seem to involve humans in some way.
- Rock paintings were made by Aboriginal people in Northern Australia. Additionally, these paintings have also been documented on walls or rock surfaces in the Cadell River Crossing, which is located in the Northern Territory, as well as Deaf Adder Creek in the Upper East Alligator region.
- Evidence suggests that some Aboriginal people in Tasmania may have included the Tasmanian Tiger as part of their diet.
- Fossils of these extinct marsupials are regularly reported from all over Australia, particularly Queensland, Victoria, and West and South Australia.
- The mummified remains of a Tasmanian Tiger were uncovered in a cave that was located within the Nullarbor Plain. It was estimated to have lived between 4,000 to 5,000 years ago, which is just about the time Dingos were introduced to the region.