The External Anatomy
of the Thylacine
Coat and stripe
pattern variation (continued):
The thylacine's stripes
as seen from a dorsal view of the animal's back are not symmetrical in
either shape or size. Consequently, a thylacine photographed or filmed
from one side of the body cannot be identified
by the stripe pattern on the opposite side (as is demonstrated in the example
Specimen skin 26.9.1910.
Courtesy: World Museum,
Liverpool. Photo: Nicholas Ayliffe.
Specimen Database, 5th Revision 2013.
The one area of
uniformity in the stripe pattern is the spacing between the individual
stripes. Two unrelated thylacine pelts can be placed side
by side, and the spacing between each band is virtually identical.
of thylacine taxidermy mounts from photographs of living specimens
Bronx Zoo thylacine
mounted specimen 35244.
Shown at left in the
above image is a photograph of the first male thylacine that was exhibited
at the Bronx Zoo in New York from 17th December 1902 to 15th February 1908.
The stripe pattern on the back of the animal shows three distinct features
that assist in identification, labelled A -
C. Line A
shows a distinct interconnecting line between the primary bands.
Line B shows a minor supplementary
band just below a main band. Line
shows an uncharacteristic flattening of one of the principal bands.
Just like fingerprints, these characteristic markings are unique to this
individual animal. If one then examines the taxidermy mount of thylacine
specimen (35244) from the American Museum of Natural History in New York
(photo at above right), it can be seen that they are one and the same individual.