Intensive hunting encouraged by bounties is generally blamed for its extinction, but other contributing factors may have been disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment into its habitat.
The modern thylacine first appeared about 4 million years ago.
Species of the family Thylacinidae date back to the beginning of the Miocene; since the early 1990s, at least seven fossil species have been uncovered at Riversleigh, part of Lawn Hill National Park in northwest Queensland.
In 1824, it was separated out into its own genus, Thylacinus, by Temminck.
Several studies support the thylacine as being a basal member of the Dasyuromorphia and the Tasmanian devil as its closest living relative.
Zoology students at Oxford had to identify 100 zoological specimens as part of the final exam.
Word soon got around that, if ever a 'dog' skull was given, it was safe to identify it as Thylacinus on the grounds that anything as obvious as a dog skull had to be a catch.
Then one year the examiners, to their credit, double bluffed and put in a real dog skull.
The easiest way to tell the difference is by the two prominent holes in the palate bone, which are characteristic of marsupials generally.
The thylacine was one of only two marsupials to have a pouch in both sexes (the other being the water opossum).