Extinct Australian thylacine hunted like a big cat

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The extinct Australian carnivore known as a thylacine was an ambush predator that could not outrun its prey over long distances, a new analysis shows.

The thylacine has been variously described as a "marsupial wolf" or a "Tasmanian tiger".

This study suggests the latter term might be more appropriate; the animal's hunting strategy was more like that of a big cat than that of a wolf.

Details appear in Biology Letters journal.

Thylacines once roamed mainland Australia, but their numbers declined as humans settled the continent from around 40,000 years ago and as the dingo was introduced around 4,000 years ago.

Eventually, they were confined to the island of Tasmania, which was dingo-free. The species was eventually wiped out during a large-scale eradication effort in the 19th Century and 20th centuries....

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