thylacine

/thuy"leuh suyn', -sin/, n.
a wolflike marsupial, Thylacinus cynocephalus, of Tasmania, tan-colored with black stripes across the back: probably extinct. Also called Tasmanian wolf.
[1830-40; < NL Thylacinus genus name, equiv. to thylac- ( < Gk thýlakos pouch) + -inus -INE1]

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also called  marsupial wolf,  Tasmanian tiger , or  Tasmanian wolf 
 largest carnivorous marsupial of recent times, presumed extinct (extinction) soon after the last captive individual died in 1936. A slender fox-faced animal that hunted at night for wallabies (wallaby) and birds, the thylacine was 100 to 130 cm (39 to 51 inches) long, including its 50- to 65-cm (20- to 26-inch) tail. Weight ranged from 15 to 30 kg (33 to 66 pounds), but about 25 kg was average. The fur was yellowish brown, with 13 to 19 dark bars on the back and rump. The hind legs were longer than the forelegs, and the tail was very thick at the base, tapering evenly to a point. The skull was remarkably similar to that of a dog but had characteristics diagnostic of a marsupial. Other differences include a smaller braincase and jaws with an enormous, almost 90-degree gape. In a shallow pouch that opened rearward, the female carried two to four young at a time.

      The thylacine had been found on the Australian mainland and New Guinea and was confined to Tasmania only in historic times. Competition with the dingo probably led to its disappearance from the mainland. It was widely hunted in Tasmania by European settlers because it was considered a threat to the domestic sheep introduced to the island. It was rare by 1914, and the last known living specimen died in a private zoo in Hobart in 1936; its disappearance from the wild came perhaps two years later. The thylacine was the sole modern representative of the family Thylacinidae, which is known otherwise by several fossil species.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • thylacine — [ tilasin ] n. m. • 1827; lat. zool. thylacinus, du gr. thulakos « poche, bourse » ♦ Zool. Mammifère carnivore (marsupiaux) appelé aussi loup de Tasmanie. ● thylacine nom masculin (latin scientifique thylacinus, du grec thulakos, sac) Marsupial… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Thylacine — Thy la*cine, n. [Gr. ? a sack.] (Zo[ o]l.) The zebra wolf. See under {Wolf}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • thylacine — [thī′lə sīn΄, thī′ləsin] n. [Fr < Gr thylax, pouch] TASMANIAN WOLF …   English World dictionary

  • Thylacine — Tasmanian Tiger redirects here. For the cricket team, see Tasmanian Tigers. Thylacine[1] Temporal range: Early Pliocene to Holocene Thylacines in Washington D.C …   Wikipedia

  • Thylacine — Th …   Wikipédia en Français

  • thylacine — (entrée créée par le supplément) (ti la si n ) s. f. Sorte de didelphe. •   Les plus inférieurs, didelphes ou marsupiaux de l Australie (kangourous, thylacine, phascolome), correspondent à des didelphes fossiles, les thylacotherium et les… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • thylacine — noun Etymology: New Latin Thylacinus, genus of marsupials, from Greek thylakos sack, pouch Date: 1838 Tasmanian tiger …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • thylacine — noun The carnivorous marsupial Thylacinus cynocephalus which was native to Tasmania, now extinct. Syn: Tasmanian tiger, Tasmanian wolf …   Wiktionary

  • thylacine — extinct doglike marsupial of Tasmania Unusual Animals …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • thylacine — n. Tasmanian wolf …   English contemporary dictionary

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