Thylacoleo carnifex

Thylacoleo carnifex was the largest carnivorous mammal in Australia
Thylacoleo carnifex Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Thylacoleo carnifex
Thylacoleo carnifex Physical Characteristics
282–362 pounds
Thylacoleo carnifex Distribition

Thylacoleo carnifex is an extinct species of meat-eating marsupials that as soon as stayed in Australia. This species dated the Late Pliocene to the Late Pleistocene Date (from 2 million years ago till concerning 46,000 years ago). Regardless of its resemblances with contemporary- day lions in dimension and appearance, Thylacoleo carnifex was a marsupial (a pouched animal similar to kangaroos). Thylacoleo carnifex was the biggest predator in Australia and was a peak killer.

Summary and Dimension

Thylacoleo carnifex is a species of meat-eating marsupials belonging to Australia. The genus “Thylacoleo” indicates bag lions, a suitable name since they were marsupials (creatures that bring to life early young in bags) instead of real lions. This species was the last and biggest participant of the Thylacoleonidae family of marsupial lions. Participants of this family are called marsupial lions since they look like normal placental lions and were huge pinnacle predators of their time. Nevertheless, they’re never pertaining to the contemporary lion.

Thylacoleo carnifex is just one of the 3 species in the Thylacoleo genus. With an ordinary weight of 223– 287 extra pounds (around the exact same weight as a grown-up lioness), this predator was just one of Australia’s biggest meat-eating creatures. People in this species were as long as 30 inches high at the shoulders and concerning 59 inches long from head to tail.

A noticeable function of the Thylacoleo carnifex was its bigger cheek teeth. Their 3rd molars were customized to develop lengthy shearing blades, which totally took control of the setting of the posterior molar teeth or minimized their dimension. Unlike various other meat-eating creatures that often tend to have canine teeth, this animal had huge serrated top incisors and flat oriented reduced incisors.

Thylacoleo carnifex likewise had bigger thumb claws for disemboweling victim. The claws were retracting like that of contemporary cats. Its arm or leg percentage and muscular tissue mass distribution demonstrate how effective this animal may have been. The arm or legs were adjusted for climbing up, yet the animal was possibly not really quick.

The Thylacoleo carnifex had bigger, retracting thumb claws for disemboweling victim.

Jose manuel canete/CCBYSA4.0 – Permit

Diet – What Did the Thylacoleo carnifex Eat?

An initial check out the cranial bones of the Thylacoleo carnifex would immediately recommend a meat-eating diet. Nevertheless, not all researchers concurred with this case in the very early days of its exploration. Several indicate the animal’s origins and connection with well-known herbivores like koalas and various other marsupials as a feasible description for a vegetarian diet. Some very early researchers likewise explained it as a scavenger or bone crusher.

The even more common concept today is that this animal was a predator. Thylacoleo carnifex had no grinding teeth, which would certainly have made a plant- based diet not likely. As a matter of fact, numerous researchers today take into consideration the Thylacoleo carnifex as one of the most specific animal predator of perpetuity. It was a peak killer with blade- like teeth created to cut with flesh, effective lower arms, and huge, retracting claws.

One more intriguing function is the substantial bite pressure of this predator, which is stated to be one of the most effective of any kind of animal killer ever before. Its bite stamina enabled it to lower victim a lot bigger than itself with no trouble. T. carnifex ate pressure similar to that of an African lion, although it was smaller sized in dimension. The marsupial lion’s diet might have consisted of large video game like the Diprotodon and gigantic kangaroos that were rather plentiful in Australia throughout that time.

Environment – When and Where Did the Thylacoleo carnifex Live?

Thylacoleo carnifex lived throughout Australia, with a variety that covered nearly the whole continent. It lived for nearly 2 million years, beginning with the Late Pliocene Date to the Late Pleistocene. A lot of the websites where fossils of this predator have actually been discovered were completely dry open woodland locations throughout the Pleistocene.

Risks and Predators

Thylacoleo carnifex was the largest predator in its time, and it was likely a peak killer in its indigenous region. While this substantial monster possibly had no predators, it lived throughout a duration of wonderful ecological modification. Environment modification was a significant risk to their presence, and it more than likely added to their decrease. Adjustments in ecological aspects brought about the termination of the megafauna of Australia, which they victimized. Humans were likewise a significant risk when they came onto the scene in the direction of completion of the Pleistocene.

Discoveries and Fossils

Sir Thomas Mitchell discovered the initial fossil of Thylacoleo carnifex in the very early 1830s in the Wellington Valley area (South Wales). Nevertheless, he did not acknowledge them or call them as soon as possible. A fragmentary sampling was later on discovered near lake Colongulac by Willian Adeney. Richard Owen released a summary based upon this locate. For numerous years later on (approximately a century after the initial exploration), paleontologists can just locate head, jaw, and teeth pieces. The initial almost full skeletal system was discovered in 1966. Just a foot and the tail were missing out on in this well- managed sampling.

In 2002, researchers revealed one more collection of well- managed fossils. The collection consisted of approximately 8 full collections of bones. Researchers thought that they possibly failed right into a sedimentary rock cavern under Nullarbor Level. Several of the people passed away in the autumn, and minority that endured passed away of hunger. Researchers have actually likewise discovered rock art and trace fossils (scrape marks) of this predator.

Termination – When Did the Thylacoleo carnifex Pass Away Out?

Thylacoleo carnifex went extinct concerning 45,000 years back, in addition to the remainder of Australia’s megafauna. Environment modification was possibly the primary factor for this termination occasion. Yet some professionals likewise indicate human tasks as a feasible contributing variable. It is thought that the recently gotten here humans on the Australian continent changed the regional community with their human and bush- burning tasks. Remarkably, the loss of the Thylacoleo carnifex has actually altered the all-natural community of Australia given that nothing else huge predator progressed to take its location.

Similar Animals to the Thylacoleo carnifex

Similar animals to the Thylacoleo carnifex consist of:

  • Thylacinus megiriani – This was one more marsupial killer belonging to Australia. It appeared like a dog yet had a much longer nose. Unlike the marsupial lion, this predator stayed in a woodland community in north Australia.
  • Panthera spelaea – Likewise called the Eurasian cave lion or steppe lion, this was a species of lion that progressed in Europe throughout the Center and Late Pleistocene.
  • Protemnodon – This is an extinct genus of a huge kangaroo that stayed in Australia throughout the Pliocene and Pleistocene.


  1. Australian museum, Available here:
  2. Wikipedia, Available here:
  3. WA Museum, Available here:

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