Tech UPTechnologyA dog-faced marsupial hunting like a feline

A dog-faced marsupial hunting like a feline

tiracinoThe extincttilacino (Thylacinus cynocephalus) it was an animal withhead and body similar to that of a dog, which transported theirpups in a bag like a kangarooand had thestriped fur typical of a feline. This enigmatic and iconic creature from Australia and Tasmania, sometimes classified as“lobo marsupial”and other “Tasmanian tiger” has been a real headache for scientists for decades. Now, a study carried out by scientists from Brown University (USA), in which their remains have been compared with the bones of 31 mammals (including cougars, panthers, jackals, wolves, hyenas …), reveals that the The animal was closer to the cats, although it was clearly a marsupial. As published by the researchers in the journalBiology Letters, the thylacine acted as alone predator that hunted its victims in ambushes, a characteristic that clearly differentiates it from wolves and wild dogs, which hunt in packs and by pursuit.

TheThylacinus cynocephalusIt lived for millions of years on mainland Australia, and its extinction began when humans began to settle on the continent, about 40,000 years ago. Its population was most affected when the dingo, a dog-like animal, was introduced 4,000 years ago. The last specimen of this species, named “Benjamin”, died in a Hobart zoo in 1936.

Upon analyzing the remains, they found that the thylacine’s upper arm humerus was oval and elongated at the end closest to the elbow, indicating that the bones of the forearm, radius, and ulna were separated. That implies thatthe “Tasmanian tiger” or thylacine was able to turn its leg so that the palm was facing up, as cats do. The arm movement allowed it to have greater control over its prey after a surprise attack, the researchers suggest.

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