How many times have you come across these special Tasmanian tiger facts including the extinct tasmanian tiger diet, habitat, and behavior. The largest carnivore marsupial, Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) is also known as Tasmanian wolf.
These animals are endemic to New Guinea and Tasmania in the continental Australia. It follows that these tigers were become extinct by the mid of 20th century. Scientists have discovered numerous fossils that tell the story of these tigers in early Miocene.
It is also believed that Tasmanian tiger was the last existing species among its family. These wild animals had become extinct before the European begins to settle in Australia; however, it continued to exist in Tasmania together with other animals.
One of the foremost reasons of their extinction is the Tasmanian tigers hunting at an excessive scale; some other causes include epidemic diseases, emergence of wild dogs, and habitat loss. These tigers were considered to be apex predators.
These species was not very much like placental mammals but some of their general adaptations coincide with these mammals. Tasmanian devil is believed to be its closest relative which is still existing.
Tasmanian tigers first emerged some 4 million years before. By the end 20th century, last seven Tasmanian tigers fossils were discovered in the northwest Queensland. Depending on the species, the tigers vary in size, skeletons, and skins
- The thylacines looked very much like short-haired dog that has a rigid tail.
- According to several European settlers, the cat got its name tiger due to the fact that it featured 13 – 21streaks at the back and its tail. These streaks are more prominent in younger Tasmanian tigers.
- These animals have thick body hair with a length of about 15mm (3.1 inches).
- The ears were about the length of 8 cm (3.1 inches) and are shielded with brown fur.
- The length of an adult Tasmanian tiger measures around 100 – 130 cm (39 – 51 inches), excluding tail.
- They have a tail of about 50 -65 cm (20 – 26 inches).
- The largest Tasmanian tiger was measured at 290 – cm (9.5 feet) including tail.
- The shoulder height of these specimens was 60 cm (24 inches), with a weight measuring at 20 – 30 kg (40 – 70 lb).
- The females are slightly smaller in comparison to the males.
- The female has four-teat pouch that opens from the back of its body.
- These animals were adept to open their jaws up to 120 degrees which is unusual in marsupial family.
- They had 46 teeth but these were too weak.
- They were believed to hunt prey with the help of their sight and sound instead of smell as against the previous belief.
- They had clumsy gait that do not sufficient support to run fast.
- When provoked, these cats produced sounds like hiss and growl. However, these sounds were then in a series while hunting.
- Little is known about the precise behavior of Tasmanian tigers. One of the facts about these cats is that they were nocturnal.
Distribution and Habitat
- Tasmanian tigers used to live in wetlands, grasslands, and eucalyptus forests of continental Australia. They lived all throughout New Guinea.
- These specimens were mostly found in the coastal heath and woodlands. They had a normal habitat range of 40 – 80 sq. km (15 – 31 sq. mi). They were not considered to be territorial species.
- They used to spend most of the daytime in hollow tree trunks or small caves. Tasmanian tiger was usually regarded as hesitant species in that it tended to disappear when one approaches.
- These animals were carnivorous and their stomach was capable to withhold large amounts of food in one attempt. This makes a lot of sense since the time when there was not ample food and they had to bear few days without eating anything.
- Tasmanian tigers were known to hunt their prey in small groups. Some of the most common tiger’s diet includes wallabies, wombats, kangaroos, possums, potoroos, and some birds as well.
- They have relatively weak jaws and they couldn’t prey on animals with a weight of about 5 kg (11 lb). Nonetheless, this does not apply to the larger specimens.
- They were at the verge of extinction about 2,000 years ago in Australia possibly due to excessive hunting by native people living in New Guinea.
- At present, they have been disappeared completely but according to some observers they have come across sightings of Tasmanian tigers; however, this bears no proof whatsoever.
- Despite their extinction was too much 2000 years ago, some of these species still continued to survive by 1930s in the state of Tasmania. European settlers were believed to be the first ones who hunted these extinct animals.
Tasmanian Tiger Facts | Video