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Cave Painting Depicts Extinct Marsupial Lion

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    Posted: 08 Jul 2010 at 20:31

Two years ago they did an interesing find on a rockshelter in Northwestern Australia. It was an ancient painting of something that is supposed to be a marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex.

Indeed an exciting find.

Quote Live Science

Modern Australia lacks big land predators, but until about 30,000 years ago, the continent was ruled by Thylacoleo carnifex, the marsupial "lion."

Several well-preserved skeletons of the leopard-size beast have been found. Now, a newly discovered cave painting offers a glimpse of the animal's external appearance.

In June 2008, Tim Willing, a naturalist and tour guide, photographed an ancient painting on a rockshelter wall near the shore of northwestern Australia. Kim Akerman, an independent anthropologist based in Tasmania, says the painting unmistakably depicts a marsupial lion.

It shows the requisite catlike muzzle, large forelimbs, and heavily clawed front paws. And it portrays the animal with a striped back, a tufted tail, and pointed ears.

Those last three features aren't preserved in skeletons, but Aborigines would have known them well. Australia's first people landed on the continent at least 40,000 years ago and were contemporaries of the big predator.

Previously known rock paintings hinted at marsupial lions, but were rudimentary and could have depicted the other striped marsupial predator, the dog-size Tasmanian "tiger." That species succumbed to competition from humans in 1936, much as the marsupial lion may have done millennia before.

http://www.archaeologydaily.com/news/200905111201/Cave-Painting-Depicts-Extinct-Marsupial-Lion.html 

The painting, and a reconstruction of Thylacoleo 

Pic from: http://xenohistorian.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/050909-cave-drawing-02.jpg



Edited by Carcharodon - 08 Jul 2010 at 20:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2010 at 18:21
A skull of an actual specimen of Thylacoleo

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2010 at 00:08
Wow. I never knew that.
The Ice Age was good times in Aus.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2010 at 06:09
Some more facts about the painting:


An ancient rock painting of a marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifexfrom the Kimberley, Western Australia


Edited by Carcharodon - 12 Jul 2010 at 12:07
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2010 at 01:47
What would it have eaten? Those teeth seem very unusual.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2010 at 04:58
Originally posted by Dolphin Dolphin wrote:

What would it have eaten? Those teeth seem very unusual.

Thylacoleo is thought to have been a carnivore, one of the top predators at its time. Kangaroos and similar should probably have been its choice of prey. It is also thought to have been the land mammal that had the strongest bite of all, in realation to its size. Its biting foce was in parity with a lion or a tiger, if not stronger, but still the animal were not bigger than a leopard.

Quote Marsupial lions are known for their teeth and powerful bite from fossil specimens. Interestingly, they didn not have canine teeth like wolves or lions and were reduced to mere pegs. Instead they had large first incisors, described by Sir Richard Owen in 1871 as adapted for piercing, holding and lacerating, like the canine of a carnivore. They had blade sharp cheek teeth 3rd premolars called specialized carnassial teeth that were more effective for slicing meat than the teeth of placental cats. The molar teeth were small, but their posterior premolars were very large and could reach 2.24 inch.

One can also add that another marsupial predator (and scavenger), the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) today is the land mammal that has the strongest biting force in realation to its size.


Edited by Carcharodon - 13 Jul 2010 at 06:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2010 at 21:34
Sevaans Frank is that you...
 
 
 
Honi soit qui mal y pense
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2010 at 02:18
Interesting thread. What is it about the apparent predominance of Marsupial creatures in that corner of the world?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2010 at 04:06
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Interesting thread. What is it about the apparent predominance of Marsupial creatures in that corner of the world?


The isolation of the Australian continent several tens of millions of years ago certainly has a lot to do with it. They have had trouble over the past couple of hundred years competing with introduced species like the rabbit, fox and rat.

What I find interesting is the lack of large predators to prey on our plains animals (kangaroos mostly). My theory is that the aborigines made a determined effort to kill off other large predators. It seems to me no coincidence that thylacoleo vanished not long after our first evidence for the presence of aboirigines appears.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2010 at 09:24
^Can someone delete this tool?
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2010 at 14:16
that tool's already banned ... didn't catch that one - hidden from sight now 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2010 at 14:23
quite interesting
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2011 at 13:15
Also Thylacines and the great Genyornis bird can be seen in ancient Australian rock art:
 
The Thylacine on rock art.
 
Another Thylacine on rock art.
 
 
A picture that probably depicts the giant bird Genyornis. It is belived to have gone extinct about 50 000 years ago, which make the rock art among the worlds oldest. Another alternative is that Genyornis survived later than previously believed.
 


Edited by Carcharodon - 22 Mar 2011 at 13:25
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