Cave painting in Australia depicts extinct marsupial lion

May 11th, 2009 - 1:51 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 11 (ANI): A newly discovered cave painting in Australia offers a glimpse of an extinct marsupial lion’s external appearance.

Accoridng to a report in the Natural History Magazine, known as Thylacoleo carnifex, the marsupial lion roamed the continent of Australia about 30,000 years ago.

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, said that 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.

Previously known rock paintings hinted at marsupial lions, but were rudimentary and could have depicted the other striped marsupial predator, the dog-size Tasmanian “tiger.”

That species succumbed to competition from humans in 1936, much as the marsupial lion may have done millennia before. (ANI)

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