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The thylacine

Thylacine Fact file

Name: Thylacine (thi-lah-seen)
Status: Extinct?

Habitat: Woodland and forest in Tasmania.

Description: The thylacine was a marsupial - a type of mammal, like a kangaroo, which carries its young in its pouch. It was a carnivore, and had evolved as a good predator, looking much like a wolf. The stripes running along its back and tail gave it another name - the 'Tasmanian tiger'.

Reasons for extinction:
Thylacines were never common in Tasmania. Nevertheless, they were often blamed by farmers in the 19th century for killing their sheep. Rewards were offered to people for killing thylacines, but even then, their numbers seemed to stay fairly constant.
It wasn't until the early 20th century that thylacines suddenly became extremely rare. Some scientists think that they were affected by a disease epidemic which also killed many Tasmanian devils. The last known thylacine died in a zoo in Hobart in 1936, and was later given the name of 'Benjamin'.
But the thylacine still remains a mystery. There have been hundreds of sighting of thylacines throughout the 20th century, and many people think that a few might still survive in remote areas of Tasmania today.

Image bank - click on the pictures for more information.

Thylacine Thylacine
Thylacine skin Thylacine jaw bone
Thylacine skull            Thylacine foot bones        Map of Tasmania

Find out more:
Everything you need to know about the thylacine
The thylacine museum
Could the thylacine be cloned?
Find out more about Tasmania
Print out your own thylacine image page (PDF, 116Kb)

Find out about the extinct and endangered animals in the Museum.

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Blue whale
Golden toad
Giant panda
Passenger pigeon
Schaus' swallowtail

Go to the Homepage to find out about hippos and the causes of extinction.