The Thylacine was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times.
Native to Australia and New Guinea, it is thought to have become extinct in
the 20th century. It was the last extant member of its genus, Thylacinus,
although several related species have been found in the fossil record dating
back to the early Miocene. The Thylacine became extinct on the Australian
mainland thousands of years before European settlement of the continent, but
it survived on the island of Tasmania along with several endemic species,
including the Tasmanian Devil. Intensive hunting encouraged by bounties is
generally blamed for its extinction, but other contributory factors may have
been disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment into its
habitat. Despite being officially classified as extinct, sightings are still
reported. An apex predator, it was not related to placental mammals, but
because of convergent evolution it displayed the same general form and
adaptations. The Thylacine was one of only two marsupials to have a pouch in
both sexes (the other is the Water Opossum). The male Thylacine had a pouch
that acted as a protective sheath, protecting the male's external
reproductive organs while running through thick brush.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket was slain in his own cathedral by
four knights of Henry II of England.
The Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States, with much of the
territory becoming the state of Texas.
To counter the French Navy's La Gloire, the world's first ironclad warship,
the British Royal Navy launched the world's first iron-hulled armoured
battleship, HMS Warrior.
Sun Yat-sen was elected as the provisional President of the Republic of
China by representatives from provinces in Nanjing.
The Tian Tan Buddha, the world's tallest outdoor bronze statue of the seated
Buddha, was completed.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
hogan (n) A one-room Navajo dwelling or ceremonial lodge.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of
all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all
other work is but preparation. --Rainer Maria Rilke