Thylacinus

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Thylacinus
Temporal range: Lower Miocene–Holocene
Thylacinus.jpg
Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus)
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Dasyuromorphia
Family: Thylacinidae
Genus: Thylacinus
Temminck, 1824
Species

All extinct, see text

Thylacinus is a genus of extinct carnivorous marsupials from the order Dasyuromorphia. The only recent member was the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), commonly also known as the Tasmanian tiger or Tasmanian wolf, which is believed to have become extinct in 1936. In the first half of the 20th century, an already dwindling thylacine population was exposed to a combination of excessive hunting by humans, as well as likely competition with introduced dogs. Other prehistoric species are known from this genus. An unidentified species is known from Pleistocene New Guinea. Thylacines emerged around four million years ago and were known to inhabit Australia before they disappeared, most likely due to competition with dingos. Their last known stronghold was in Tasmania before they became extinct due to European hunting.

Contents

Species

Below is a phylogeny by Yates (2015) on the relationships of Thylacinus. [1]

Thylacinus

Thylacinus macknessi

Thylacinus potens

Thylacinus megiriani

Thylacinus yorkellus

Thylacinus cynocephalus

Related Research Articles

Thylacine Extinct species of carnivorous marsupial from the Australian continent

The thylacine is an extinct carnivorous marsupial that was native to the Australian mainland and the islands of Tasmania and New Guinea. The last known live animal was captured in 1930 in Tasmania. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger or the Tasmanian wolf. Various Aboriginal Tasmanian names have been recorded, such as coorinna, kanunnah, cab-berr-one-nen-er, loarinna, laoonana, can-nen-ner and lagunta, while kaparunina is used in Palawa kani.

Dasyuromorphia Taxon of carnivorous marsupials

Dasyuromorphia is an order comprising most of the Australian carnivorous marsupials, including quolls, dunnarts, the numbat, the Tasmanian devil, and the thylacine. In Australia, the exceptions include the omnivorous bandicoots and the marsupial moles. Numerous South American species of marsupials are also carnivorous, as were some extinct members of the order Diprotodontia, including extinct kangaroos and thylacoleonids, and some members of the partially extinct clade Metatheria and all members of the extinct superorder Sparassodonta.

Thylacinidae Extinct family of marsupials

Thylacinidae is an extinct family of carnivorous, superficially dog-like marsupials from the order Dasyuromorphia. The only species to survive into modern times was the thylacine, which became extinct in 1936.

<i>Thylacoleo</i> Extinct genus of marsupials

Thylacoleo is an extinct genus of carnivorous marsupials that lived in Australia from the late Pliocene to the late Pleistocene. Some of these marsupial lions were the largest mammalian predators in Australia of their time, with Thylacoleo carnifex approaching the weight of a lioness. The estimated average weight for the species ranges from 101 to 130 kg.

Riversleigh World Heritage Area UNESCO World Heritage Site in Queensland, Australia

Riversleigh World Heritage Area is Australia's most famous fossil location, recognised for the series of well preserved fossils deposited from the Late Oligocene to more recent geological periods. The fossiliferous limestone system is located near the Gregory River in the north-west of Queensland, an environment that was once a very wet rainforest that became more arid as the Gondwanan land masses separated and the Australian continent moved north. The approximately 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi) area has fossil remains of ancient mammals, birds, and reptiles of the Oligocene and Miocene ages, many of which were discovered and are only known from the Riversleigh area; the species that have occurred there are known as the Riversleigh fauna.

Sparassodonta Extinct order of mammals

Sparassodonta is an extinct order of carnivorous metatherian mammals native to South America, related to modern marsupials. They were once considered to be true marsupials, but are now thought to be a separate side branch that split before the last common ancestor of all modern marsupials. A number of these mammalian predators closely resemble placental predators that evolved separately on other continents, and are cited frequently as examples of convergent evolution. They were first described by Florentino Ameghino, from fossils found in the Santa Cruz beds of Patagonia. Sparassodonts were present throughout South America's long period of "splendid isolation" during the Cenozoic; during this time, they shared the niches for large warm-blooded predators with the flightless terror birds. Previously, it was thought that these mammals died out in the face of competition from "more competitive" placental carnivorans during the Pliocene Great American Interchange, but more recent research has showed that sparassodonts died out long before eutherian carnivores arrived in South America. Sparassodonts have been referred to as borhyaenoids by some authors, but currently the term Borhyaenoidea refers to a restricted subgroup of sparassodonts comprising borhyaenids and their close relatives.

International Thylacine Specimen Database

The International Thylacine Specimen Database (ITSD) is the culmination of a four-year research project to catalogue and digitally photograph all known surviving specimen material of the thylacine held within museum, university, and private collections.

Certainly in my experience this is by far the most thorough compilation focused on an extinct or endangered animal ever produced and, as such, bound to be enormously useful to many generations of scientists to come.

In Australian folklore, the Queensland tiger is a creature said to live in the Queensland area in eastern Australia.

<i>Nimbacinus dicksoni</i> Extinct species of marsupial

Nimbacinus dicksoni is an extinct thylacinid marsupial, a close relative of the recent but extinct thylacinid known as the Tasmanian tiger. It lived approximately 23-16 million years ago in the Miocene period. Nimbacinus dicksoni was about 1.6 ft (50 cm) long. Being a predator, it likely ate birds, small mammals, and reptiles. Like the recently-extinct thylacine, it may have been an awkward runner and used stamina to catch prey rather than speed. Fossils have been found in Australia at Riversleigh in north-western Queensland and Bullock Creek in the Northern Territory.

<i>Thylacinus potens</i> Extinct species of marsupial

Thylacinus potens was the largest species of the family Thylacinidae, originally known from a single poorly preserved fossil discovered by Michael O. Woodburne in 1967 in a Late Miocene locality near Alice Springs, Northern Territory. It preceded the most recent species of thylacine by 4–6 million years, and was 5% bigger, was more robust and had a shorter, broader skull. Its size is estimated to be similar to that of a grey wolf; the head and body together were around 5 feet long, and its teeth were less adapted for shearing compared to those of the now-extinct thylacine.

Thylacoleonidae Extinct family of marsupials

Thylacoleonidae is a family of extinct meat-eating marsupials from Australia, referred to as marsupial lions. The best known is Thylacoleo carnifex, also called the marsupial lion. The clade ranged from the Late Oligocene to the Pleistocene, with some species the size of a possum and others as large as that of a leopard. As a whole, they were largely arboreal, in contrast to the mostly terrestrial dasyuromorphs, monitor lizards and mekosuchines.

<i>Thylacinus megiriani</i> Extinct species of marsupial

Thylacinus megiriani lived during the late Miocene, 8 million years ago; the area T. megiriani inhabited in the Northern Territory was covered in forest with a permanent supply of water.

Mutpuracinus archibaldi is an extinct carnivorous, quadrupedal marsupial that lived during the middle Miocene and is the smallest known thylacinid at approximately 1.1 kilograms, the size of a quoll, though, more closely related to the recently extinct thylacine.

Ngamalacinus timmulvaneyi lived during the early Miocene and has been found in Riversleigh.

Wabulacinus ridei lived during the early Miocene in Riversleigh. It is named after David Ride, who made the first revision of thylacinid fossils. The material was found in system C of the Camel Spurtum assembledge.

Riversleigh fauna is the collective term for any species of animal identified in fossil sites located in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area.

Joculusium muizoni is a fossil species discovered at the Riversleigh World Heritage Area. Little is known about the animal.

Thylacinus yorkellus is a fossil species of carnivorous marsupial, a sister species of the recently extinct Thylacinus cynocephalus, the Tasmanian tiger, both of which existed on mainland Australia.

William D. Turnbull (1922-2011) was an American paleontologist associated with the Chicago Field Museum. He published over 100 papers on mammals, continuing after his retirement as the museum's curator of mammals. He searched in Australia for evidence of recently extinct species, and made frequent expeditions to sites at the Washakie Formation in southwest Wyoming. His studies are considered significant contributions to the paleontology and biogeography of dinosaurs and Eocene mammals.

Dorcopsoides is a genus of extinct species of kangaroo from the Pliocene of Australia.

References

  1. Yates, A. M. (2015). "Thylacinus (Marsupialia: Thylacinidae) from the Mio-Pliocene boundary and the diversity of Late Neogene thylacinids in Australia". PeerJ. 3: e931. doi:10.7717/peerj.931. PMC   4435473 . PMID   26019996.