Physical characteristics

Tasmanian wolves are superficially dog-shaped. They walk on four legs, although the legs are shorter than most canids. The head is doglike with a long, narrow snout, medium-sized (3 in; 80 mm) erect ears, and a strong jaw. The hindquarters slope and taper to a long, semi-rigid tail. The footpads extend to the heel and wrist joints. The re cently extinct T. cynocephalus was sexually size dimorphic: females approximately 33 lb (15 kg), males up to 66 lb (30 kg). Body hair is short (to 0.6 in; 15 mm) and sandy brown in color, with 15-20 brown stripes across the back, extending from behind the shoulders to the base of the tail. The fe-

Tasmanian wolf (Thylacinus cynocephalus). (Illustration by Wendy Baker)

Tasmanian wolves had a large gape. (Illustration by Wendy Baker)

male pouch opens slightly posteriorly and contains four teats. Males also have a small pouch-like depression around the scrotum. There are four upper and three lower incisor teeth, one set of canines, and three sets of premolars. Each of the four molars is similar in form, with major slicing (car-nassial) and minor grinding surfaces.

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