Tasmanian Tiger Did Not Fill the Evolutionary NIche of a Dog

It was believed that the Tasmanian Tiger perished in mainland Australia due to the dingo taking over their habitat. New findings show the dingo did not directly compete with the marsupial dog. They had different ways of getting their food.

Dingos were brought to Australia from Asia in recent times. It is not native to Australia. The demise of the Tasmanian tiger on the larger part of Australia 3,000 years ago was coincidental. Settlers in Tasmania feared their cattle and sheep would be slaughtered so they eradicated the quite timid animal in the early twentieth century.

Dingoes are wild dogs that run for long periods running down their prey. Tasmanian tigers were not distance runners. They ambushed sick and young animals. The tiger's skeletal structure was more like cats than dogs, particularly the elbow joint which was feline in character. The dingo has elbows that lock, while the marsupial dog had a flexible joint. This undermines the theory that the Tasmanian tiger filled the evolutionary niche open in Australia due to the absence of a native dog.
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