Western australian speed dating
The thylacine was Australia's largest predator 3500 years ago when dingoes were introduced by human settlers.The thylacine resembled a large, short-haired dog with a stiff tail which smoothly extended from the body in a way similar to that of a kangaroo.The skulls of the thylacine (left) and the timber wolf, Canis lupus, are quite similar, although the species are only distantly related.
It was the last extant member of its family, Thylacinidae; specimens of other members of the family have been found in the fossil record dating back to the late Oligocene.In 1805 William Paterson, the Lieutenant Governor of Tasmania, sent a detailed description for publication in the Sydney Gazette.Harris originally placed the thylacine in the genus Didelphis, which had been created by Linnaeus for the American opossums, describing it as Didelphis cynocephala, the "dog-headed opossum".Petroglyph images of the thylacine can be found at the Dampier Rock Art Precinct on the Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia.By the time the first European explorers arrived, the animal was already extinct in mainland Australia and rare in Tasmania.
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Europeans may have encountered it as far back as 1642 when Abel Tasman first arrived in Tasmania.