Illustration of the Powerful Thylacine, Thylacinus potens
, which existed during the Miocene. It is the Thylacine's largest known relative.
The Thylacine showed many similarities to the members of the Canidae
(dog) family of the Northern Hemisphere: sharp teeth, powerful jaws, raised heels
and the same general body form. This is an example of convergent evolution
. Since the Thylacine filled the same ecological niche
in Australia as the dog family did elsewhere, it developed many of the same features. Despite this, it is unrelated to any of the Northern Hemisphere predators — its closest living relative is the Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii