Monash University

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Reason: Under embargo until September 2021. After this date a copy can be supplied under Section 51(2) of the Australian Copyright Act 1968 by submitting a document delivery request through your library

The evolutionary context and functional ecology of the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus)

posted on 2020-09-15, 00:46 authored by DOUGLASS SAMUEL ROVINSKY
My thesis examines issues of convergence, body size, feeding ecology, and the evolutionary trends leading to these aspects of the thylacine’s natural history. Generating the most complete evolutionary history of the thylacine, I track trends in aspects of body mass and carnivory over millions of years. I show that the modern thylacine was almost 60% smaller than previously estimated, and that it likely fed on animals less than half its own size. My thesis demonstrates that the thylacine was not significantly convergent in skull shape with the wolf, and did not have a wolf-like ecological niche.


Principal supervisor

Justin Winfield Adams

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Anatomy and Developmental Biology


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences