Pask, Andrew J. Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Menzies, Brandon R. Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany.
- Thylacine diversity
- Thylacine functional genomics
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The thylacine or Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was a large, carnivorous Australian marsupial. Like most marsupials, female thylacines gave birth to very small young that completed the majority of their development attached to a teat in the pouch of their mothers. What made the thylacine so unique among the marsupials was its body form. The thylacine was almost indistinguishable from a dog (Fig. 1). Despite their extremely similar appearance, the thylacine last shared a common ancestor with the dog (a eutherian mammal) approximately 160 million years ago (Fig. 2). Both animals have evolved over time to develop a similar body plan through a process known as convergent evolution. In fact, the marsupial thylacine and the eutherian dog are the most striking example of convergent evolution ever described in mammals. This makes the genome of the thylacine especially interesting because it may be possible to identify the molecular changes that resulted in its doglike body form. This could be achieved by looking for similarities between the genome of the thylacine and that of the dog (completed in 2005).
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information