Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus)
Congratulations to urbanmongoose for being the first to correctly identify Friday’s Freak of the Week as being a Thylacine! For those of you who aren’t sure what a thylacine is, it is an extinct carnivorous marsupial. Unfortunately we don’t have a genuine thylacine skull in the collections, but the one photographed is an extremely realistic cast from Bone Clones. Today I thought I would show you guys the morphological similarities and differences between the thylacine, a grey wolf (Canis lupus), and a kangaroo (Macropus sp.). I am so fascinated by convergent evolution! I don’t think there’s any denying that the skull of a thylacine more closely resembles that of a canid, rather than a species in its own taxonomic class. It really is a shame that we no longer have these amazingly unique creatures roaming the wilds of Australia!