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Tasmanian Wolf: Thylacinidae - Physical Characteristics

wolves mother tail males

Although Tasmanian wolves, sometimes called Tasmanian tigers, are extinct, or no longer living today, scientists have learned much about them from fossils and earlier written records. These wolves looked like dogs, and they walked on all four legs, although their legs were shorter than most dogs. They had a long narrow snout, ears that stood up, and a straight tail. Tasmanian wolves had short sandy-brown hair with a distinctive set of stripes that ran across their back. The stripes were dark brown and ran from the shoulders to the base of the tail.

Female Tasmanian wolves were smaller than males, with some males growing to twice the weight of females. While females may have averaged 33 pounds (15 kilograms), males could grow to be more than 60 pounds (27 kilograms). Tasmanian wolves had sharp teeth with four incisors in the top of their mouth and three in the bottom. This allowed them to tear their preferred food, meat.

Like all native Australian and Tasmanian mammals, Tasmanian wolves were marsupials. They lacked a placenta, an organ that grows in the mother's uterus and lets the mother and developing baby share food and oxygen. Because of this, they gave birth to young that were physically immature and unable to survive on their own. After a short pregnancy, the young were carried for several months in a pouch that opened under the mother's tail and faced backward. The young attached to milk teats, or nipples, in the pouch and fed until they grew large enough to survive on their own.

Tasmanian Wolf: Thylacinidae - Geographic Range [next]

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almost 3 years ago

wow!!! i never knew anything like this before. I wish they were still alive cause i really want to see one in person.

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7 months ago

this is so interesting!!! i wish they still were alive. what a nice beautifyl thing in the world, dont ya think ma dude

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3 months ago

Solid effort if i do say so my self

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over 5 years ago

it is so cool