Temporal range: Pliocene to Holocene
A photograph of "Benjamin", the last known thylacine, taken in 1933.
Conservation status
Status iucn3.1 EX.svg
Extinct  (1936) (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Dasyuromorphia
Family: Thylacinidae
Genus: Thylacinus
Species: T. cynocephalus
Binomial name
Thylacinus cynocephalus
(Harris, 1808)
  • Didelphis cynocephala Harris, 1808
  • Dasyurus cynocephalus Geoffroy, 1810

The thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), colloquially known as the Tasmanian tiger, Tasmanian wolf or simply the Tassie tiger, is an extinct species of carnivorous marsupial and is the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. It belongs to the extinct family Thylacinidae.

Once existing throughout Australia the thylacine is believed to become extinct during the early 20th century, when the last known capture specimen died at the Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart, Tasmania on September 7, 1936. However, many cryptozoologists and Tasmanian residents claim that some individuals survive in Tasmania and even in southern Australia. The last thylacine was called Benjamin. There is also a reported sighting of a thylacine showing up around 1970 in Tasmania to a group of people, although this has not been confirmed yet.

The thylacine weighs in at 20 - 30 kg, and it closely resembles a canid. This is most likely due to convergent evolution in which one animal evolves traits that other animals from different parts of the world would normally have. It also has a very strong bite force indicating that it may have preyed on large animals such as sheep which, was the reason Australian farmers hunted it down before its inevitable extinction, but with new studies, due to a severe stressing found in the mandibular condyle and the lower jaw, made researchers think it may have specifically evolved to target small prey that would have not struggled much when caught in the jaws. However, this may not be entirely true, because there is an unconfirmed account of a thylacine killing a Bull Terrier when backed into a corner. Thylacine's were also driven out of mainland Australia by Humans and Dingos.

The lifespan of the Thylacine was about 5 to 7 years and captivity about 9 years.

Despite how the last thylacine died in 1936 however in the 1952-1953 a photo of a thylacine was caught on camera in Mawbanna.

In May 2020, the last known footage of the thylacine was newly rediscovered.

In August 2020, the thylacine was revealed to be smaller than originally assumed. It was once thought to weigh about 65 pounds, but it actually weighed only 37.5 pounds.

Taxonomic and evolutionary history


Distribution and habitat

Ecology and behavior

Relationships with humans


Cultural significance

In Pop Culture

  • The Thylacine “Tasmanian Tiger Wolf“ was seen as a stuffed Museum Specimen in Batman The Animated Series Season 3 Catwalk on the Extinct Forever display with a few other stuffed Extinct animals. Then it along with the Great Auk was stolen by Scarface to make money from them & almost sold it to Penguin.
  • National Geographic’s Stranger than Nature.
  • National Geographic’s Australia’s Improbable Animals.
  • The Wild Thornberrys Animal Adventures PS1 Game during the cutscene.
  • The PS2 Video Game Trilogy of Ty The Tasmanian Tiger.
  • Wild Kratts Back In Creature Time Part 2.
  • The Thylacine appeared in the documentary series called Animal X.
  • Monster Quest Return of the Tasmanian Tiger.
  • Monster Hunters.
  • The 2012 Film The Hunter.
  • Silly Symphony Father Noah's Ark.
  • Thylacine appeared in the PC game Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals.
  • Thylacine appeared in the documentary Tasmanian Tiger in 2016 where a biologist Forrest Galante goes on an expedition in Tasmania where the locals have multiple of the reported sightings.
  • Thylacine appeared in Extinct or Alive where the biologist Forrest Galante goes on another expedition but instead of Tasmania he goes to Australia where there are more sightings have been taken place.


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