Thylacine, Thylacinus potens

Where did they live?
The Thylacine is known only from a partial skull fossil found in Australia at a farm, Alcoota Station, in the Northern Territory, northeast of Alice Springs.

What was their habitat?
The Alcoota region was subtropical open woodland during the late Miocene Epoch, 10.4 – 5 million years ago, when the Powerful Thylacine roamed there.

What’s special about them?
This animal was one of the largest carnivorous mammals ever to live in Australia.
The last representative of the Thylacine family, the Tasmanian Tiger, tragically became extinct last century. There remains a famous, grainy 1932 film of the last Thylacine in a Tasmanian zoo. It died in 1936 but some specimens were preserved.

What did they eat?
Powerful Thylacines were predator carnivores so it’s thought their diet probably consisted of wallabies, other small mammals and maybe even birds, similar to the recently extinct Tasmanian Tiger’s diet.

How did they reproduce?
Their mating habits are thought to have been similar to those of the Tasmanian Tiger, breeding during winter and spring. The young were likely born tiny and hairless, like all marsupials. The pouch faced to the rear, an advantage for an animal that had to hunt for and run down its dinner.

What else do I need to know?
Powerful Thylacines were formidable, remarkably dog-like, pouched marsupials with long snouts and molar teeth specialised for eating meat. Their bite would have been stronger than the powerful Rottweiler of our time. They would have weighed about 39 kilograms and, from snout to the tip of the tail would have been up to 2.25 metres long.

Where do they fit in the tree of life?
Species: potens
Genus: Thylacinus
Family: Thylacinidae
Order: Dasyuromorphia
Magnorder: Australidelphia
Cohort: Marsupialia
Infralegion: heria
Sublegion: Boreosphenida
Division: Theriiformes
Superdivision: Theriimorpha
Infraclass: Holotheria
Subclass: Mammaliaformes
Class: Mammalia
Series: Amniota
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Phylum: Chordata
Kingdom: Animalia

What is their conservation status?
The Powerful Thylacine is extinct.


  • Title: Powerful Thylacine
  • Creator: Harry Burrell

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