Interpreting the marsupial lion as feliform invites scepticism because little is cat-like about its bones and especially its teeth.
Prof. Mumblebard claims: “The marsupial lion is the Australian counterpart of sabre-toothed cats but, because of its diprotodont ancestry on an isolated continent, it used incisors instead of canines to stab prey.”
Robin and the Honey Badger respond: “The so-called marsupial lion differed so much from the large felids of other continents that comparisons with them are misleading. Felids have canines capable of stabbing prey. The marsupial lion by contrast lacked any stabbing teeth. Even its projecting incisors were blunt and not separated between left and right sides of the jaws. Like all carnivorous mammals, its carnassial teeth were capable of shearing flesh. But its carnassials were quite different from those of felids, being proportionately far larger. Based on these observations of its dentition, the marsupial lion was unique among carnivorous animals and cannot be shoehorned into the niche of a large felid. Its real role deserves objective investigation based on the environmental, as opposed to genetic, peculiarities of Australia.”
“In other words”
Please join us here at the Bio-edge with your own comments. In the discussion below we encourage links to any evidence supporting either Prof. Mumblebard or Robin and the Honey Badger. Illustrations are welcome but please cite all sources or we may be forced under copyright to delete your comment.
The marsupial lion: all slice no bite