Pliocene - Pleistocene
most recent and physically largest in size of all the thylacoleonid genera.
Members of this genus range from the size of a large dog to the the size
of a small lion. The most famous member of the genus is the Pleistocene
carnifex, whose remains have been well preserved in various cave deposits
in South Australia and New South Wales.
crassidentatus - This was a Pliocene species of Thylacoleo
which was about the size of a large dog. Its remains have been recovered
from the Chinchilla Local Fauna of the Chinchilla Sand, southeastern Queensland.
Additional fossils of Thylacoleo referable to this species have
been found in the Allingham Formation (Bluff Downs local fauna) of northern
Queensland and the Bow local fauna of northeastern New South Wales.
The specimen depicted is a fragment of
the left side of the skull with several teeth in very good condition.
hilli - A small Pliocene
species of Thylacoleo, the holotype of which (an isolated left P/3)
was found at Town Cave, Curramulka, York Peninsula, South Australia.
This species was only about half the size of T. crassidentatus.
Additional specimens referable to T. hilli were found in 1979 at
the Bow fossil site by students and staff of the of the University of New
Shown at right are two views of a dentary
fragment of this species. This specimen retains a well preserved
P/3 and partial I/1.
- The first thylacoleonid
to have been discovered, the initial fossils of this species were probably
collected in the early 1830s in the Wellington Valley region by Major Thomas
Mitchell. The earliest published references to T. carnifex
appear in Mitchell's 1838 work "Three Expeditions into the Interior of
across Australia, and surviving into the late Pleistocene (40,000 years
ago), T. carnifex was the largest and the last of the thylacoleonids.
Many fine fossil examples of this species have been unearthed in cave deposits.
It is the only thylacoleonid of which a complete skeleton has been found.
Pictured is a superb skull from the Late
Pleistocene silt deposits at Victoria Fossil Cave, Naracoorte, South Australia.