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Terrifying Australian lion discovered after 19 million years

Artist’s impression of newly discovered Australian marsupial lion Wakaleo schouteni Illustration by Peter Schouten.Source:Supplied
Artist’s impression of newly discovered Australian marsupial lion Wakaleo schouteni Illustration by Peter Schouten.Source:Supplied

AUSTRALIAN researchers have discovered a new species of marsupial lion, that is believed to have been extinct for at least 19 million years.

The animal's fossilised remains were discovered in rural Queensland and were comprised of an almost complete skull, teeth and upper arm bones.

Scientists believe the predator, named Wakaleo schouteni, was about the size of a border collie and likely lived in Australia's rainforests about 18 million to 26 million years ago.

The animal was likely armed with bladelike teeth, a common characteristic of marsupial lions as it helps to slice through the flesh of their prey - such as lizards, birds, frogs and small possums.

"It is very rare to get a complete skull of a marsupial lion that is this old, so this specimen is a real treasure," Dr Anna Gillespie from the University of New South Wales told Cosmos.

Topics:  animals extinct lion

News Corp Australia

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