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Tasmanian tiger’s jaws were too weak to kill sheep

So it turns out that the thylacine, hunted to extinction in 1936 by sheep farmers tired of their flocks being eaten, had a jaw that was too weak to kill sheep.

“We scanned the skull and then used the same software on it that you would use in engineering, to investigate the stresses on man-made structures, such as bridges and aircraft wings,” explained Dr Wroe.

This digital “crash test” revealed that thylacine’s jaws were simply too weak to have brought down an adult sheep.

“If a large carnivore – like a big cat for example – wants to take down a big prey item, it has to clamp down on its throat and suffocate it,” said Dr Wroe.

“A thylacine wouldn’t have been capable of this.”

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Story: Victoria Gill, BBC News | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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