WAS THIS MARSUPIAL A LION – OR A POUCH-ROBBING, MEAT-BROWSING, COOKIE-CUTTING KOALA?
In our determination to see a pouched felid, have we overlooked an even more gripping dentition?
LATERAL THOUGHTS IN SEARCH OF EVER MORE INTERESTING STORIES FROM BIOLOGY. Robin and the Honey Badger’s mission is to recharge biology with originality for you, the non-specialist reader. In this e-essay: in our determination to see a pouched felid, have we overlooked an even more gripping dentition? The very name of the marsupial lion – the largest-ever mammalian meat-eater of Australia – seems biased by an assumption that some extinct marsupial must have been a counterpart to sabre-tooth cats. But any such bias buries the most interesting fact about this fossil species: namely that a plant-eating ancestor was recruited to meat-eating. Join us as we turn the conventional interpretation of this most dramatic member of the marsupial fauna on its head – and particularly on its canine teeth.