Islands are often fascinating to zoologists and those that love to study plants and animals. Cut off from other land masses, the creatures that are living on the islands take evolutionary paths that are different from those on the mainland. As a result, many islands are a source of species that are not found anywhere else on earth. Islands like Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania are some perfect examples of this, and these island nations are famed for their fascinating wildlife. Sadly though, some of that wildlife is now extinct.
The Tasmanian tiger, also known as Thylacine, was a predatory marsupial that died out in the 1930s. As usual, mankind is partially, if not entirely, to blame for their demise. They were hunted by farmers that were trying to protect their sheep, although it has since transpired that the Tasmanian posed no threat to sheep in the first place. All we have left of them now is a few poor-quality images, some bones and a few stuffed specimens.
We were at least able to learn some things about the Thylacine before it disappeared from the face of the earth. They are many interesting facts to learn about these fascinating animals.
Tasmanian Tiger Fact #10: Not a Tiger
The Tasmanian tiger was named because of the tiger like stripes at the back of its body. Despite the stripes, it only shared a slight resemblance with a tiger, and was not at all closely related to the big cat. In fact, they were not even cats at all. The Tasmanian tiger was a marsupial, which is a family of animals that is found throughout Australia, New Zealand and in some parts of South America. Some of the better well-known members of the marsupial family include koala bears, kangaroos and possums.
The official name for the Tasmanian tiger is Thylacine. It is also commonly referred to by some people as the Tasmanian wolf, although it was not closely related to wolves either. It was a member of the Thylacinidae family, of which it was the last species to survive.