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Um....Say What?

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 7:38 pm
by Minimalist
Rock Paintings of Marsupial Lion found in Australia.

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/2775/marsupial-lion-found-aboriginal-rock-art

However, as the species has been extinct for tens of thousands of years (some estimates suggest 30,000 years, but direct dating of the fossils has not been completed), experts don't know exactly what they looked like.


And then this gem.

They're also unsure what drove them extinct and even if they were still around when the first Aborigines arrived on the continent.



Unless the lions painted the pictures themselves it sure as hell seems likely that some ancient artist saw them.

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 3:04 pm
by Rokcet Scientist
The description of the rock painting(s?) speaks of "stripes running along its back".
That definitely sounds more 'tigerish' than 'lionish' to me. But that's moot in either case, of course, because it was a very distinct marsupial species. Probably no more related to today's big cats than the Sabre Tooth Tiger was. Which wasn't a cat at all, it's turned out.

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:28 pm
by kbs2244
“Some evidence suggests climate change was to blame, whilst other evidence points to early Australians burning the land and altering the habitat.”


“The discovery suggests that early Aborigines and marsupial lions were contemporaries, and may also lend weight to the idea that the arrival of people contributed to the demise of the species.”

Why is it always climate change or humans that lead to the “demise of the species?”

Is there no other possibility?
Maybe a super predator just ate all the food supply?

Aren’t there cases of the parasite killing the host?

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 9:21 am
by Rokcet Scientist
Of course. So the next questions that would need answers are: what was that super-predator or parasite? And what happened to it/where is it today?
Any suggestions?

Re: Um....Say What?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:01 pm
by Digit
Your logic is showing again Min, but that sure is a cracker! Oh to be an expert! :lol: :lol:

Roy.

Re: Um....Say What?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:11 pm
by Minimalist
I know....I gotta stop doing that.

Re: Um....Say What?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:41 am
by JohnB
The name "Marsupial Lion" is not meant to indicate any genetic relationship with lions on other continents.

The term "Lion" is used because of the large slicing teeth in the mouth. Easily seen in the Naracoorte fossils here;
http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacoleo ... bits_1.htm

These teeth act in a slicing scissor motion for removing large chunks of flesh when feeding. They are a common trait of most large predators and especially lions. The creature was a marsupial and had slicing teeth like a lion, hence "Marsupial Lion".

I've been to the Naracoorte caves and seen the reconstructions first hand and I've seen african lions in the Melbourne Zoo. The marsupial lion strikes me as the tougher customer, the thing gave me the willies.