The Tasmanian Wolf

Tasmanian Wolf

Tasmanian Wolf

If the Maned Wolf is the strangest wolf alive today, then the Tasmanian Wolf is surely the one of the most bizarre wolves to have ever existed.  Sadly, it is currently extinct, though pictures prove that this odd animal did indeed exist!

The Tasmanian Wolf (also known as the Tasmanian Tiger, or more formally known as the thylacine) was a mammal that from a distance resembled a small wolf or a medium sized dog.  Up close however, the Tasmanian Wolf looked anything but like a wolf!  It had the body and physical resemblance of a dog, however it also had the markings of a tiger ( dark horizontal stripes on it’s back). It’s tail closely resembled in form and function that of a kangaroo.  Also, similar to a kanagaroo, it had a pouch near the rear of it’s body – a distinctive feature which classified this “wolf” as a marsupial.  The Tasmanian

Benjamin, last known Tasmanian Wolf in captivity (1933)

Benjamin, last known Tasmanian Wolf in captivity (1933)

Wolf also had a very distinctive walk, and was unable to run fast, preferring instead a kangaroo-like hop.  Unlike kangaroos however, the Tasmanian Wolf did not eat plants and vegetation –  it was a carnivorous predator said to have feasted upon small birds, possums, kangaroos, and wallabies!

Sadly, this odd animal became extinct in the wild in 1933, and by 1936 was also extinct in captivity.  It’s demise was due to an attempt to control the population, as it was seen as a headache for local farmers who were losing sheep to the carnivorous mammal.  The bounty placed on the Tasmanian Wolf’s head, combined with disease and destruction of its natural habitat sealed the fate of this mysterious animal.

When alive, the Tasmanian Wolf called Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea home.

See video of the last known Tasmanian Wolf in captivity below. Died in 1936.

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