The thylacine has been described as a formidable predator because of its ability to survive and hunt prey in extremely sparsely populated areas.
The thylacine had become extremely rare or extinct on the Australian mainland before British settlement of the continent, but it survived on the island of Tasmania along with several other endemic species, including the Tasmanian devil.
Despite this, it is unrelated to any of the Northern Hemisphere predators.
They are easy to tell from a true dog because of the stripes on the back but the skeleton is harder to distinguish.
Zoology students at Oxford had to identify 100 zoological specimens as part of the final exam.
Species of the family Thylacinidae date back to the beginning of the Miocene; since the early 1990s, at least seven fossil species have been uncovered at Riversleigh, part of Lawn Hill National Park in northwest Queensland.
Native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, it is believed to have become extinct in the 20th century.
It was the last extant member of its family, Thylacinidae; specimens of other members of the family have been found in the fossil record dating back to the late Oligocene.
Then one year the examiners, to their credit, double bluffed and put in a real dog skull.
The easiest way to tell the difference is by the two prominent holes in the palate bone, which are characteristic of marsupials generally.
In 1805 William Paterson, the Lieutenant Governor of Tasmania, sent a detailed description for publication in the Sydney Gazette.