Dog Breed Info Center(R) DBIC

Thylacine

Information and Pictures

Front view of a large brown dog that looks like a tiger with stripes and small rounded ears

The extinct Thylacine dog breed

Other Names
  • Australian Tiger Dog
  • Marsupial Wolf
  • Tasmanian Tiger
  • Tasmanian Wolf
Description

These dogs were known to be the most recent largest marsupial carnivore. They were a dark to medium brown color with about 15 darker brown stripes or bars of color on their backs. They had rounded ears that stuck above their heads, a large rounded skull and an extremely long muzzle. Their jaws were long and could open to almost 90 degrees, revealing sharp teeth.

Temperament

There are no records of the temperment of the Thylacine. The only evidence we know is that they were wild and were known to kill large prey such as sheep for food.

Height, Weight

Height: 49–51 inches long (124-129 cm) including a 20 inch (51 cm) long tail

Weight: 33–66 pounds (15-30 kg) but an average of 55 pounds (25 kg)

Health Problems

There are no records of this breeds health issues.

Living Conditions

The Thylacine dogs were wild and not domesticated. They lived in the wilderness and hunted large prey.

Exercise

Since they lived outside in their own packs, they probably exercised a rigorous amount while hunting, migrating, and traveling throughout the wilderness.

Life Expectancy

There are no records of the life expectancy of the Thylacine.

Litter Size

There are no records of the litter size.

Grooming

They had a short coat and groomed themselves when necessary.

Origin

These dogs were originally found in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. Because of the large amounts of Dingos living on the mainland of Australia, they were eventually confined to Tasmania where they were hunted by the people because of their threat of killing the domestic sheep on the land. By 1914 the Thylacine was considered rare and by 1936 the last captured dog of this breed died in the Hobart Zoo. A few years later they were reported to be extinct because of their disappearance from the wild.

Today we have fossils of the Thylacine along with other breeds known to the Thylacinidae family. Since the end of the 1930’s there have been reports of sightings of the Thylacine although none have been confirmed. Since then, population studies done by both naturalists and wildlife officials also concluded no sightings of the Thylacine dog from the years 1937–2008.

However, there are possibilities of cloning this dog due to the fact that scientists have their full DNA from the fossils from long ago. With technological advances happening more and more, scientists have considered taking the DNA from the Thylacine and placing it into a donor egg from a related species. Currently, there are no cloning plans put in place regarding the Thylacine dog.

To this day, there are still many Australians who believe that the Thylacine is still alive and hiding in the woods. There are currently teams who have placed video cameras in places where they would most likely show up. There are frequent claimed sightings of the Thylacine although none have been clear enough to confirm.

Group

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Recognition
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Sideview of a brown dog with sharp teeth, stripes on his back and a long tail standing

The extinct Thylacine dog breed