Thylacine - Encyclopedia




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THYLACINE (Thylacinus cynocephalus). The only known living species of this genus, though smaller than a common wolf, is the largest predaceous marsupial existing. It is confined to the island of Tasmania, although fragments of bones and teeth found in caves afford evidence that a closely allied species once inhabited the Australian mainland. The general colour of the thylacine is grey-brown, but it has a series of transverse black bands on the hinder part of the back and loins, whence the name of "tiger" frequently applied to it by the colonists. It is also called "wolf," and sometimes, though less appropriately, "hyena." Owing to the havoc it commits among the sheepfolds, it has been nearly exterminated in all the more settled parts of Tasmania, but still finds shelter in the more mountainous regions of the island. The female produces four young at a time. (See MARSUPIALIA.)

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