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