Cave Painting Depicts Extinct Marsupial Lion

Breaking News

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.

comments powered by Disqus