Cryptid Profile: The Marsupial Lion
Thylacoleo carnifex, more commonly known as the Marsupial Lion, is an extinct carnivorous tree dwelling marsupial that called the Australian outback home during the late Pleistocene era. The giant mammal was the largest carnivore to ever exist in Australia and is thought to be one of the largest marsupials to exist anywhere in the world. Scientists believe the creature went extinct along with the other Megafauna of the continent as little as 46,000 years ago. But if this is true, why do some people still claim to have seen them in the vast openness of Australia?
In the mid-2000’s, multiple residents in the town of Tumbulgum (located in New South Wales) claimed that they had not only seen the Marsupial Lion, but that it was actually “stalking” the surrounding area and feeding on the unfortunate wildlife. Witnesses describe seeing a large creature the size of a lion but with “cramped” legs like that of a marsupial which would lead to a slight waddle while walking. The fur was often seen to be brindled (subtle stripes of irregular dark color) with tannish-yellow spotting and it had a long thick tail. The creatures face had a wide, thick nose like that of a wombat and large incisors (both upper and lower) protruding from the mouth.
According to scientists who have studied the skeletons of long dead Marsupial Lions, a full grown specimen would stand nearly 3ft at the shoulder and measured nearly 5ft long from head to tail. It is believed that these large carnivores could weigh anywhere between 250-360lbs. The Lion also possessed a large tail like that of a kangaroo which many scientists believe would have allowed it to support its full body weight thus allowing it the ability to slash and grab at prey with its long retractable claws. Once in hand, the creature would pull its victim toward its blade like molars which easily allowed it to tear flesh and break bone. Testing the bite force on the collected jaws of these creatures showed that the Marsupial Lion had the strongest bite of any animal in the world either living or dead.
So could this creature that many claim died out thousands of years ago still be around? While one may be quick to say no, it should be noted that there have been countless reported sightings of many different types of extinct Australian Megafauna for hundreds of years. People to this day claim to see supposedly long dead giant birds, reptiles, and mammals while out in the bush miles away from any other living soul. This could truly mean that there are a few species thought to be extinct thriving away in the uninhabited parts of the country.
Still not into this theory and need a little more convincing? Take into consideration that Australia only has a population of 24+ million people and over 85% of that total population lives along the coast as 40% of the country is listed as uninhabitable for human living due to high temperatures, barren landscapes, and lack of water or shelter. That’s 40% of an entire continent void of humans and free to whatever long extinct animal wants to claim it and remain undetected while doing so.
-The Pine Barrens Institute
*Image Credit: Wikipedia