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Marsupial Lion (Thylacoleo carnifex)

…a extinct species of diprotodont marsupial that lived in Australia from the early to the late Pleistocene. Like actual lions T.carnifex was probably an ambush predator and fed on megafauna like Procoptodon and Sthenurus. However it was not an apex predator as it shared a range with the 20ft long goanna Megalania. The marsupial lion was a highly specialized predator as it possessed unique teeth that were similar to canines, they also had huge blade-like premolars on either side of their jaws. This combined with exceptionally large jaw muscles gave the marsupial lion an extremely powerful bite. A 100kg individual would have a bite comparable to a 250kg African lion and it could kill a large animal in less than a minute compared to a lion which would take 15 minutes to kill a large catch.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Mammalia-Marsupialia-Diprotodontia-Thylacoleonidae-Thylacoleo-T.carnifex

Images: Nobu Tamura and Karora

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