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Unsolved Mystery: Tasmanian Tiger Still Exists?

With a history that traces back millions of years ago, the Tasmanian Tiger was an intriguing site to see , showcasing interesting striped patterns like a tiger, but possessing a body similar to that of a canine. In this article, you will learn background information on an animal classified in some circles as ‘possibly extinct.’ Is it possible that the Tasmanian Tiger is still wandering the earth, concealed in an unknown corner of the world?

The 20th century saw what is believed to be the last of the Tasmanian Tigers , the largest carnivorous marsupial to have existed in the modern world. The rare creature called the Australian mainland, New Guinea and Tasmania its home, and didn’t die out because they lacked habitat or food sources.

Appearance

Although it held some of the same characteristics as a cat or dog (like a canine-like body and size), the Tasmanian Tiger belonged to neither species of animals. They were grouped into a small classification of the genus, Thylacinus, which shares a bloodline with the Tasmanian Devil. Weighing between 40 and 70 pounds, the animals usually measured 3 ½ to 4 ½ feet , not including its lengthy tail. The distinct characteristic of the Tasmanian Tiger was the 1 to 2 dozen dark stripes that decorated its coat, crossing its hindquarters and back. With short fur, its coloring ranged from fawn to dark brown.

Interestingly, both genders were born with a marsupial pouch. For the females, the pouch was used to carry an average of three joeys per litter until they grew strong enough to survive on their own. The males had a pouch that protected their scrotal sac for times of hunting in heavy brush. When hunting, the Tasmanian Tiger used its eyes and ears as their strongest allies rather that their sense of smell (like other animals). The creatures were not born with a well-developed olfactory sense. They instead used a high level of energy and relentless pursuit to wear down its chosen prey until it became too tired to run away. The hunting tactics of the Tasmanian Tiger may have included hunting in packs or small family groups that worked to herd prey , although this theory is inconclusive.

Tasmanian Tiger Diet    

The typical meal for a Tasmanian Tiger included kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, small birds, and possums. The species was a carnivore and possessed a muscular stomach with the capacity to expand so that large amounts of food can gather at one time. They may have even hunted the Australian emu until that creature became extinct. This feature came in handy in case food sources were scarce or hunting opportunities proved minimal. According to trappers that witnessed the actions of the Tasmanian Tiger, they had a reputation for being an ambush predator.