.
BIOLOGY:
- ANATOMY -
SKULL AND SKELETON: A COMPARISON OF THE THYLACINE AND WOLF SKULL
.

 
.
Shown here are side-by-side images which demonstrate the anatomical differences between the skulls of the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) and Grey wolf (Canis lupus).  Both of these examples are resin cast replicas.  In the dorsal view, note that the thylacine has a much broader forehead than the wolf, and that there are differences in the form of the zygomatic arches and braincase.  Also, the rostrum (snout) of the thylacine is far narrower than that of the wolf.  In the ventral view, one can easily see the great differences in dentition that readily distinguish the two species as members of distinct mammal groups.  The dentition of both species will be depicted in greater detail on the following page.  Also visible in the ventral view are the thylacine's maxillary palatal vacuities (posterior palatal foramina).  These are the two parallel openings at the back of the mouth - a feature not present in the wolf.  However, in this replica, the vacuities are sealed and do not open into the interior of the skull as would be the case with a natural bone specimen.

Additionally, note that this particular thylacine skull is unusual in that it displays a malformation of the saggital crest (the flange of bone which projects from the top of the skull's braincase region), in which it is slightly folded downward.  This may have occurred as a result of an injury to one side of the head when the animal was young, and its skull was still growing.

.
.
thylacine and wolf skulls - dorsal view - image  C. Campbell
.
DORSAL VIEW
.
.
thylacine and wolf skulls - palatal view - image  C. Campbell
.
PALATAL VIEW
.
.
back to: Anatomical Diagrams of the Skull return to the subsection's introduction forward to: A Comparison of the Thylacine / Wolf Dentition


Search the Thylacine Museum
Site Map
Website copyright © C. Campbell's NATURAL WORLDS.
Photographs and other illustrations (where indicated) are © C. Campbell's NATURAL WORLDS.
Other photos and images are © their respective owners.