Angela Olah

Honours Student, Palaeontology

Angela Olah
Angela Olah
Image: Erich Fitzgerald
Source: Museum Victoria

MV supervisor: Dr Erich Fitzgerald

Background

Angela commenced her BSc (Honours) thesis research at Monash University in February 2013. Her project, The Bite of Thylacoleo, is co-supervised by Alistair Evans (School of Biological Sciences).

Current Activities

While most modern carnivores like cats and dogs have long bladed carnassial teeth with V-shaped notches, the iconic Australian Pleistocene marsupial Thylacoleo possessed an extraordinarily long curved blade on its premolars. Despite evidence suggesting Thylacoleo was a carnivore, very little work has been done examining exactly how its teeth may have functioned, and whether the teeth of Thylacoleo were more, or less, effective than the modern carnivoran tooth shape. Using the Palaeontology and Mammalogy collections of Museum Victoria, Angela is employing a range of quantitative analyses to evaluate the performance of the blade-like teeth of Thylacoleo compared with superficially similar teeth in other carnivorous mammals. Angela’s research aims to shed light on the palaeobiology of a key Pleistocene megafauna species and the role it played in its ecosystem.

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