Thylacoleo – a marsupial hunter

(thigh-lack-oh-lee-oh)

Skeleton of Thylacoleo.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria

Quaternary

HOW BIG IT WAS

Thylacoleo relative size depiction as described below
Thylacoleo was 1.5 m long and 75 cm tall at the shoulder.

This fearsome carnivore was the top predator in Australian until 45 000 years ago. Although a specialised carnivore, Thylacoleo was descended from herbivorous marsupials. It preyed on kangaroos and other animals and could bite clean through their limbs with its powerful jaws and shearing teeth.

This skeleton shows some features that made Thylacoleo a formidable predator. Forward-facing eyes, retractable claws and teeth capable of disabling prey earned it the nickname the ‘marsupial lion’.

WHERE IT WAS FOUND

Thylacoleo map

This fossil of Thylacoleo was discovered in South Australia.

RELATED OBJECTS

Other objects from the Quaternary

Western district volcanoesDiprotodonPalorchestesZygomaturusMegafauna track wayStone toolsKangaroos