The Thylacine or Tasmanian tiger was the world's largest carnivourous marsupial, up until 'extinction' in 1936.


It was commonly found in Tasmania (Australia), Mainland Australia, and New Guinea. The Thylacine was becoming extinct on the mainland rapidly by the time of European settlement, but found refuge on the offshore state of Tasmania with many other endangered animals, including the Tasmanian Devil. It's closest living relatives are thought to be the Wombat and the Tasmanian Devil.


The Thylacine officially resembles a large, short-haired dog with a stiff tail which smoothly extended from the body. the yellow-brown coat had 13-21 disticnt stripes from head to tail, which earned it's nickname, 'Tiger'. The striped did start to fade as the animal become more mature. The fur was up to 15mm in length, and erect ears about 8cm and covered in fur, although shorter than the body fur. Adult Thylacine's reached 100-130cm long, with a 50cm tail. They stood at 60cm tall, and weighed 20-30 kg's. The largest ever recorded was 290 cm was nose to tail tip.


The Thylacine was though to have become extinct 2000 years ago in mainland Australia. The Thylacine lived on in Tasmania until the 1930's. The rapid decrease in population can be blamed on many things, including hunters, and disease. Currently, the Tasmanian Devil is going through a cancer, which is killing many, and may have been what decimated the Tasmanian Tiger's population.

The last living one in captivity was named 'Benjamin', and was housed at the Hobart zoo where it lived for 3 years until death. The sex of this Thylacine was unconfirmed, the keepers said it was male, and pictures of it looked female. It passed away on the 7th of September 1933. Although people were pushing for Thylacine's to be protected since 1901, the government officially made it protected on Jult 10th 1936, 59 days before 'Benjamin' died.


Since their official extinction in 1936, there has been over 3800 sightings on file at the Rare Australian Fauna Research Association. Some sightings have generated a large amount of publicity. In 1973, Gary and Liz Doyle shot ten seconds of 8mm film showing an unidentified animal running across a South Australia road. However, attempts to positively identify the creature as a thylacine have been impossible due to the poor quality of the film.In 1982 a researcher with the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, Hans Naarding, observed what he believed to be a Thylacine for three minutes during the night at a site near Arthur River in northwestern Tasmania. The sighting led to an extensive year-long government-funded search.In January 1995, a Parks and Wildlife officer reported observing a Thylacine in the Pyengana region of northeastern Tasmania in the early hours of the morning. Later searches revealed no trace of the animal. In 1997, it was reported that locals and missionaries near Mt Carstensz in Western New Guinea had sighted Thylacines. The locals had apparently known about them for many years but had not made an official report.In February 2005 Klaus Emmerichs, a German tourist, claimed to have taken digital photographs of a Thylacine he saw near the Lake St Clair National Park, but the authenticity of the photographs has not been established.The photos were not published until April 2006, fourteen months after the sighting. The photographs, which showed only the back of the animal, were said by those who studied them to be inconclusive as evidence of the Thylacine's continued existence.


Wikipedia's great page on Thylacine's-