Quick Tasmanian tiger Facts
- Lived during the Early Pliocene to the Holocene Period
- Was longer than a yard-stick
- Had a shoulder height equal to a bowling pin
- Weighed more than a dalmatian
- Was a carnivore-it probably lived off a diet of small wallabies and ostriches
- Lived in Australia and Tasmania
About Tasmanian tiger
The Tasmanian tiger – also known as Thylacine – is a large carnivorous marsupial which lived from the Early Pliocene to the Holocene Period, or from about 5.33 million years ago until it became extinct in the 20th century. Engravings and rock art depicting these animals go back at least 1,000 years. It was a common sight to people living in Western Australia and Tasmania during that time. However, by the time European settlers arrived it was extinct in Australia and was extremely rare in Tasmania. The first detailed scientific description of this animal wasn’t made until the 19th century when George Harris described and named it in 1808.
Just by looking at Tasmanian tiger pictures, you can see that it wasn’t really a tiger. While it did have stripes that made it look a little tiger-like, this animal actually seemed more like a hyena. However, it was really a marsupial and gestated its young in a pouch like a kangaroo does.
These animals were about 3 to 4 feet long, weighed about 77 pounds and had a shoulder height of about 22 inches. It also had a tail that was about 25 inches long. The average Tasmanian tiger would have yellowish-brown fur that had about 16 transverse stripes running from the top of the back to the tail.
One of the fascinating facts about the Tasmanian tiger is that it was at its population height about 2,000 years ago, but human settlers caused its numbers to begin to quickly decline. By the 19th century, the only ones that were left were living off of the Australian coast on the island of Tasmania. However, the Australian government pushed it even closer to extinction when they placed a bounty on its head for it eating sheep. The last one died in 1936 while it was in captivity.
Another interesting fact about these animals is they had a peculiar way of running when they were startled. When they were scared, they would begin to hop on their back legs. They also had a problem running at high speed. These two attributes made them extremely vulnerable when they were being hunted by settlers.
The Tasmanian tiger also had an extremely weak bite which didn’t help it in defending itself. More than likely, it didn’t hunt large animals in a pack like dogs would, but most likely would stick to hunting small ostriches or small wallabies.