Thylacoleo carnifex - extinct marsupial lion

(Thylacoleo) pouch lion (carnifex) flesh eater

Thylacoleo was the largest carnivorous (meat eating) marsupial to have ever lived on earth.

It had the most unique tooth pattern of any known animal, with enormous slicing premolars

(4 - 6 cm long shearing blades on each jaw that slid against each other like a pair of scissors) and large stabbing incisors, it had what was possibly the most powerful bite of any mammal, living or extinct. With its powerful jaws and massive forelimbs with huge retractable thumb claws for grasping and holding down its prey, it probably hunted other large animals such as Zygomaturus and Simosthenurus. It is believed Thylacoleo captured its prey by ambush, possibly dropping onto it from above and, like modern lions and leopards, clamping the prey's neck and windpipe in its jaws, killing by suffocation. Opposable first toes would have provided grip and balance for climbing trees and Thylacoleo likely dragged its large prey carcass up a tree to feed, much in the manner of a modern leopard. This removed it from the reach of scavengers like the Tasmanian devil.

Although Thylacoleo was comparable to a leopard in size, weighing approximately 80 kg to 100 kg, its closest living relatives are the plant-eating koala and wombat.

thylacoleo carnifex