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BIOLOGY:
- ANATOMY -
SKULL AND SKELETON: SKULL (page 3)
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    The first attempt of a quantitative description of the skull of the thylacine, and a comparison with that of the placental wolf (Canis lupus), was made by Moeller in 1968.  Moeller compared a range of skull measurements from 33 thylacine and 55 wolf skulls.  The maximum and minimum skull length for the thylacine skulls was 234mm and 173mm, and for the wolf skulls 258mm and 184mm.  Moeller found that there were a number of similarities and differences between the skulls of the two species.  As one can see from the overlapping distribution of the data points in graph 1, the jugal width of the thylacine and wolf are comparable.
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jugal width vs. skull length
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Graph 1: Jugal width vs. skull length (mm) - Thylacinus cynocephalus and Canis lupus.
Moeller (1968).
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    This was also the case for the median length of the respective tooth rows, as can be seen in graph 2.
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median length of tooth row vs. skull length
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Graph 2: Median length of tooth row vs. skull length (mm) - Thylacinus cynocephalus and Canis lupus.
Moeller (1968).
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    Moeller observed two major structural differences; that of the width of the palate at the penultimate molar (M3) as shown in graph 3, and the length of the brain case as shown in graph 4.  In both cases, the data points do not overlap, but lie in distinct fields.  The palate width was found to be 8mm greater in the wolf (more in larger animals), and the brain case 14mm longer.
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palate width [M3] vs. skull length
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Graph 3: Palate width (at M3) vs. skull length (mm) - Thylacinus cynocephalus and Canis lupus.
Moeller (1968).
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brain case length vs. skull length
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Graph 4: Brain case length vs. skull length (mm) - Thylacinus cynocephalus and Canis lupus.
Moeller (1968).
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References
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back to: Skull (page 2) return to the subsection's introduction forward to: Dentition (page 1)


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