Tasmanian Tiger Facts
The Thylacine, who was more commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger, Tasmanian Wolf
or Tassie Tiger, joined the recently extinct animal list less than 100 years ago.
When this former marsupial was living, it roamed Australia's mainland where it is believed to have fallen victim to hunters and wild dingoes. The Tasmanian Tiger was
then confined to the island off Australia's coast, called Tasmania.
Habitat destruction and European bounty hunters are thought to be the main reasons
why the population declined so drastically and what eventually caused extinction of the species altogether. In the kid-friendly format below, you'll read facts and
information about their diet, appearance, habitat and much more.
Tasmanian Tiger General Facts
- Although you would not guess it by the name, the Tasmanian Tiger is not related to
a tiger. It is believed that the closest living relative of this extinct mammal is the banded anteater, or numbat.
- As a carnivore and a predator at the top of the food chain, the Tasmanian Tiger is
thought to have eaten anything including possums, wombats, birds, kangaroos, and sheep.
- The last known living Tasmanian Tiger was photographed in 1933 and the species was
declared extinct three years later.
- The last known Tasmanian Tiger, named Benjamin, lived in captivity at the Hobart
Zoo in Australia.
- Like kangaroos, the Tasmanian Tiger could hop around on its two hind legs.
- Most of their hunting was done either at dusk or dawn or during the night hours. The stamina of this animal more than made up for its lack of speed
when catching prey.
- Although declared extinct, each year there are several unconfirmed sightings of the
Tasmanian Tiger Descriptive Facts
- Tasmanian Tigers were so similar in head structure to wild dogs that roamed
Australia and Tasmania, that scientists have had difficulty distinguishing a dog
skull from a Tasmanian Tiger skull.
- The Tasmanian Tiger's coat somewhat resembled a tiger's coat with its dark stripes
against its yellowish-brown fur.
- The body of the Tasmanian Tiger was about 3 feet long (.91 meters) but the tail added
another 1.6- 2.1 feet (50-64 centimeters) to it's total body length.
- The total body weight was approximately 65 pounds (30 kg).
- Characteristics of this extinct mammal included short hair and long stiff tails that
did not wag like a dog's tail.
- These animals were marsupials, but unlike most other marsupials, both males and
females had pouches. The females were the only ones, however, to carry the
- The Tasmanian Tiger had a large jaw which carried 46 large, sharp teeth and it
could open its mouth wider than any other mammal.
Tasmanian Tiger Reproduction and Development Facts
- There is little information on the reproduction and early development of this
- Tasmanian Tigers could have up to four in a litter with births occurring mainly in
the summer months.
- It is believed that the mother would keep the young in her pouch for approximately
three months and would remain with the baby for the first six months.