Thylacine, Or Pouched Wolf, a marsupial animal of the dasyurine family, and genus thy-lacinus (Temminck) or peracyon (Gray), peculiar to Tasmania; both of the generic names indicate the possession of the pouch. In this genus the dentition is : incisors 8/6, the outer slightly the largest; canines large, simply conical, the upper separated from the incisors by a deep concavity in which the apex of the lower is received when the jaws are closed, in this differing from carnivora proper, in which the lower canines pass outside of the upper jaw: premolars separated from each other; molars with a large central cusp, and two smaller, one in front and the other behind it. The humerus has the inner condyle perforated, the hind feet have no inner toe, and the marsupial bones are absent, represented only by fibro-cartilage; the female has a distinct pouch, with four mamma). Only one species is described, the dog-headed thylacine (T. [P.] Harrissii, Temm.), about the size of a young wolf, or 3¾ ft. long, with a tail 20 in. additional, and a height at the shoulders of about 22 in.; the head is dog-shaped, with narrow and elongated muzzle; ears short, pointed, very broad at the base, and well covered with hair on both surfaces; eyes full and black, with a nictitating membrane; long black bristles on the upper lip, and a few on the cheeks and above the eyes; the claws stout, short, and brown, the bottoms of the feet with large, very rough pads.
The fur is short and close, waved and slightly woolly; the general color is grayish brown, paler below, with 12 to 14 transverse black bands on the back, longest and widest posteriorly; pale around eyes, and edge of upper lip white; tail with short fur, with longer hairs at under side of apex; rusty red about the pouch; the legs are shorter in proportion than in the wolf, and the gait is semi-plantigrade. It is wild and shy, inhabiting the caverns and dismal glens of mountainous districts; inactive during the daytime, probably from imperfect vision, it preys at night upon the smaller marsupials; it is sometimes so large as to be a match for several dogs, and is one of the most formidable of Australasian quadrupeds; it is rare except in the most inaccessible regions. Among the fossil remains of the caves of Wellington valley. New South Wales, Prof. Owen has described parts of lower jaws of what he calls T. speloeus, differing from existing ones in their greater depth. In the secon-dary schists of Stonesfield has been discovered the genus thylacotherium (Owen), known by the lower jaw, which has six incisors, two moderate canines, six false and six true tricuspid molars; the T. Prevostii (Cuv.) was about the size of a rat.
An allied genus from the same strata is phascalotherium (Broderip), somewhat larger.
Dog-headed Thylacine (Thylacinus Harrissii).