Unfortunately, Australia also leads the way in extinctions. In little more than 200 years of European settlement, the country has lost 23 bird, 27 mammal and four frog species. That record makes it the worst nation in the world for animal extinctions. The losses have been cause mainly by human exploitation, introduced species and environmental degradation. And these threats continue to endanger other animals there.
Among the extinct animals are different species of wallabies, bandicoots and hopping-mice. But perhaps the most well-known of all are thylacines, also known as Tasmanian tigers. They were the biggest carnivorous marsupials to live in recent times and one of only two species in which both the males and females had pouches. The creatures were proficient hunters and the dominant predators within their environment.
Thylacines were dog sized marsupials with stripes across their backs, which is how they came to be known as the Tasmanian tiger or Tasmanian wolf. As the top predators, their position in the food chain was similar to that of tigers or wolves on other continents. Despite their fearsome appearance, however, Tasmanian tigers are thought to have been timid around humans and mostly avoided them.