Thylacoleo sp.

Learn more about Thylacoleo

  • Thylacoleo is often referred to as the marsupial ‘lion’ and is related to koalas and wombats.
  • Lived 4 million — 40,000 years ago.
  • Large pointed incisors adapted to piercing flesh.
  • Large cutting premolars adapted to cutting flesh and cracking bone.
  • Meat eater, both predator and scavenger.
  • Controversially thought to be a frugivore, feeding on fruits.
  • Found throughout Australia.

There are three known species of Thylacoleo:

  • Thylacoleo crassidentatus (4 — 3.5 million years ago)
  • Thylacoleo hilli (3 million — 280,000 years ago)
  • Thylacoleo carnifex (1 million — 40,000 years ago).
silhouettes of human and prehistoric marsupial
Reconstruction of the marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex. Image: Queensland Museum,  Andrey Atuchin, Rochelle Lawrence & Scott Hocknull.

Thylacoleo sp. | Project DIG

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