Tasmanian Tiger and wolves share DNA: University of Melbourne study

The Tasmanian Tiger, Australia's version of the wolf according to a new study. Picture: File
The Tasmanian Tiger, Australia's version of the wolf according to a new study. Picture: File

The Tasmanian Tiger and the wolf had DNA in common, a new study from the University of Melbourne has discovered.

The study, conducted by Dr Charles Feigin, Princeton University and University of Melbourne, and Professor Andrew Pask, at the University of Melbourne, was published in the journal Genome Research.

It compared the complete DNA sequences of the thylacine and wolf, and found a number of unexpected similarities.

The two animals shared a common ancestor at least 160 million years ago, but evolved in similar ways on separate continents because their environments were so similar.

"The extinct marsupial Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, and the eutherian gray wolf are among the most widely recognized examples of convergent evolution in mammals," the authors said.

"Despite being distantly related, these large predators independently evolved extremely similar craniofacial morphologies, and evidence suggests that they filled similar ecological niches."

The two animals had the same DNA in terms of the shapes of their heads, and their brain development.

The last known Tasmanian Tiger died in Hobart in 1936.

This story Tasmanian Tiger and wolves share DNA: study first appeared on The Examiner.