Extinct thylacine hunted like a big cat

Published on May 6th, 2011 | by Admin

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New analyses shows that the now-extinct Tasmanian tiger was an ambush predator because it could not outrun prey over a long distance.

By studying the bones of the thylacine, scientists from Brown University in the US were able to establish that the thylacine was a solitary, ambush-style predator – much like a cat.

“Although there is no doubt that the thylacine diet was similar to that of living wolves, we find no compelling evidence that they hunted similarly,” said lead author Borja Figueirido, a postdoctoral researcher at Brown, in Providence, Rhode Island.

The researchers compared the thylacine’s skeleton with those of dog-like and cat-like species, such as pumas, jackals and wolves, as well as Tasmanian devils – the largest carnivorous marsupials living today.

[Full story]

Story: BBC News | Photo: Carl Buell

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