Skeleton of ancient marsupial lion, ‘Tasmanian devil on steroids,’ reconstructed for first time

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For the primary time, scientists have reconstructed the complete skeleton of the predatory, prehistoric animal referred to as the “marsupial lion” which roamed Australia 1000’s of years in the past.

Utilizing lately found bones present in Komatsu Collapse Naracoorte in South Australia and Flight Star Cave within the Nullarbor Plain, together with the primary “recognized stays of the tail and collarbone of this animal” in addition to beforehand found fossils, and evaluating their findings to the anatomy of marsupials discovered at present, scientists with Flinders College in Australia had been in a position to reconstruct how the marsupial lion probably seemed.

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The analysis, printed Wednesday within the journal PLOS, allowed scientists to “attain new conclusions concerning the biology and conduct of the ‘marsupial lion,’” in accordance to an announcement from the examine’s authors.

The skeleton was reconstructed in its entirety for the primary time.
(PLOS)

The marsupial lion, they realized, probably weighed greater than 200 kilos and had a tail that “seems to have been stiff and heavily-muscled.” The animal, extra formally referred to as the Thylacoleo carnifex, probably used its tail and hind legs to help itself whereas utilizing its forelimbs for climbing or “dealing with” meals, researchers stated. This prehistoric creature additionally used its massive, sharp claw to kill prey.

“The evaluation means that Thylacoleo had a inflexible decrease again and highly effective forelimbs anchored by sturdy collarbones, probably making it poorly suited to chasing prey, however well-adapted for ambush looking and/or scavenging,” the researchers added.

The animal launched onto its prey from timber “or others excessive perches,” ABC in Australia stories. The construction of its collarbones additionally implies the marsupial lion was able to pulling its prey up a tree or was in a position to “dangle on to struggling prey,” Rod Wells, one of many examine’s authors from Flinders College, instructed the outlet.

The prehistoric creature was a predatory animal that likely used its tail and hind legs a support when handling prey. 

The prehistoric creature was a predatory animal that probably used its tail and hind legs a help when dealing with prey. 
(PLOS)

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Based mostly on their findings, the researchers theorized the marsupial lion resembles the Tasmanian satan. The truth is, one paleontologist, Michael Archer with the College of New South Wales in Australia, likened the marsupial lion to “a Tasmanian satan on steroids.”

“If you consider a Tasmanian satan on steroids — quite a lot of steroids — if it may spend time tearing big kangaroos aside, the concept it will sit again on its haunches implies that its tail actually did have to bend like that,” Archer instructed ABC.

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