Lion Fossils


The marsupial lion (Thylacoleo carnifex) is an extinct species of carnivorous marsupial mammal that lived in Australia from the early to the late Pleistocene (1,600,000-46,000 years ago). Despite its name, it is not closely related to the lion, but is a member of the order Diprotodontia. The marsupial lion is the largest meat-eating mammal known to have ever existed in Australia, and one of the largest marsupial carnivores from anywhere in the world (although see Thylacosmilus and Borhyaena). Individuals ranged up to around 75 cm (30 in) high at the shoulder and about 150 cm (59 in) from head to tail. Read more




In the News ...





New species of extinct marsupial lion discovered in Australia   PhysOrg - December 7, 2017
A team of Australian scientists has discovered a new species of marsupial lion which has been extinct for at least 19 million years. Wakaleo schouteni was a predator that stalked Australia's abundant rainforests some 18 to 26 million years ago in the late Oligocene to early Miocene era. This meat-eating marsupial is estimated to have been about the size of a dog and weighed around 23 kilograms. The new species is about a fifth of the weight of the largest and last surviving marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex, that weighed in at around 130 kilograms and which has been extinct for 30,000 years. Members of this family, the Thylacoleonidae, had highly distinct large, blade-like, flesh-cutting premolars that they used to tear up prey.




Ancient Cave Lion Cubs Found Crushed and Frozen in Russia   Live Science - November 2, 2016
For more than 30,000 years, northern Russia's cold permafrost has preserved the small bodies of two furry and wide-pawed cave lion cubs, one of them in almost pristine condition, a new study found. The two mummified cubs, nicknamed Uyan and Dina after the Uyandina River where they were found, were just about 1 week old when they died, likely crushed by extensive collapse of the sediments in the den.




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