Work in Progress: Extinction 1936 (The Thylacine)

For my latest artwork, I decided to try making a really fascinating extinct animal, the Thylacine, also known as the Tazmanian Tiger or the Tazmanian Wolf. Although there are some unverified reports of recent day sightings, the last known thylacine died in a Tazmanian zoo in 1936.The thylacine was native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea and was the largest marsupial carnivore.

According to ARKive.org:
Although similar in appearance in some respects to a canine, “the thylacine was extremely distinctive, and the canine appearance was offset by the tapered hindquaters, relatively short legs and broad-based tail, which cannot be wagged from side-to-side. The short, coarse fur was a dirty yellow-brown with 13 to 19 transverse brown stripes running from the upper back to the base of the tail; animals from highland areas had a richer cinnamon-brown coat. There were lighter patches of fur (4) surrounding the eyes and near the erect, rounded ears. The belly was cream coloured, females carried a backwards-opening pouch, and males possessed a pseudo pouch in the form of a fold of skin that protected the testes when moving quickly through low bushland. The thylacine was renowned for its ability to open its jaw remarkably wide; whilst it is highly unlikely that this yawn was as wide as is sometimes quoted (180°), the gape was still the widest of any mammal, and is surpassed only by that of the snake. This species is a classic example of ‘convergent evolution’; it is a marsupial mammal that closely resembles the placental canids, especially the wolf from which one of its common names is derived, due to the similarities in their way of life.”

Here is a video of the last thylacine , (who, according to reports, is believed to have died as the result of neglect — locked out of its sheltered sleeping quarters, it was exposed to a rare occurrence of extreme Tasmanian weather: extreme heat during the day and freezing temperatures at night.[see Wikipedia entry] ).

“Extinction 1936 (The Thylacine)”
12 × 12 inches on wood panel
work in progress

Initial sketch

adding in more to the features

I will be working some more on this artwork today, so hopefully the finished artwork will be ready in the next couple of days.

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  • Dianne  Ilka