Mar­su­pial lion

Australian Geographic - - Geo buzz -

A cast of a skull (be­low) of the mar­su­pial lion, Thy­la­coleo carnifex, shows its mas­sive jaws and teeth. This dis­tant rel­a­tive of mod­ern-day koalas and wom­bats is thought to have been a fearsome preda­tor (right), with stud­ies show­ing it had one of the strong­est bite forces of any known mam­malian car­ni­vore, liv­ing or ex­tinct. It was likely to have been an am­bush preda­tor ca­pa­ble of climb­ing trees, per­haps much like a leop­ard to­day.

This com­plete skele­ton of a Thy­la­coleo was found in an­other of the Nullar­bor com­plex of caves that bears its name. It lay undis­turbed for about 400,000 years.

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