The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database


Thylacoleo carnifex Owen, 1859

Marsupial lion

 

 

Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Thylacoleo oweni McCoy, 1876:9; Thylacopardus australis Owen, 1888:99; Mylodon australis Krefft, 1870; Thylacoleo robustus Krefft, 1872a

Synonymy follows (Anderson, 1929).

 

Conservation Status

Last Record: 45.3 ± 0.85 ka Cal BP (Pate et al., 2002)

 

The marsupial lion was only a distant relative of the thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus). The most recent dates so far found suggest that it survived up until at least 46,000 BC (Roberts et al. 2001; Pate et al., 2002). Akerman (1998, 2009) and Akerman and Willing (2009) have reported three candidate rock art images which may depict Thylacoleo. However, these claims have been described as "absurd" by (Bednarik, 2013:484) on the basis of the discrepancy between the latest known survival of Thylacoleo and the young age of the art, as well as the lack of fossils of Thylacoleo from the regions of the Kimberley and Arnhem Land.

 

Distribution

Australia

 

Biology

 

 

Hypodigm

WAM 02.7.1
QMF44642 ("I1")
F51287 (Dawson, 1985:66)
F4664 (Dawson, 1985:66)
F18666 (Dawson, 1985:66)

 

Media

[youtube]SjHufEp_ajw[/youtube]

 

Excavations from Thylacoleo Caves:

[youtube]GUgGWLZsBwM[/youtube]

 

From roughly 6:00

[youtube]K2bedloYjoM[/youtube]

 

References

Original scientific description:

Owen, R. (1858). Odontology, pp. 407-484. In: The Encyclopaedia Britannica, or dictionary of arts, sciences, and general literature. 8th ed. Vol. 16. Edinburgh, Adam and Charles Black.

 

Other references:

Akerman, Kim. (1998). A Rock Painting, Possibly of the Now Extinct Marsupial Thylacoleo (Marsupial Lion), from the North Kimberley, Western Australia. Beagle: The Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 14: 117-121.

Akerman, Kim. (2009). Interaction between humans and megafauna depicted in Australian rock art? Antiquity 83(322).

Akerman, Kim and Willing, Tim. (2009). An ancient rock painting of a marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex, from the Kimberly, Western Australia. Antiquity 83(319).

Albert, Victor A. (1987). A Bungle in the Jungle, or, Why Specialization Is Important in Cryptozoology. Cryptozoology 6: 119-120.

Anderson, C. (1929). Palaeontological notes no. 1. Macropus titan Owen and Thylacoleo carnifex Owen. Records of the Australian Museum 17(1): 35-49, plates xvii–xviii.

Anonymous. (1887). The Australian Lion. Colonist (NZ), 22 January, 30(4721).

Anonymous. (1887). [Untitled]. Poverty Bay Herald (NZ), 28 January, 14(4775).

Anonymous. (1887). [Untitled]. Patea Mail (NZ), 28 January, 12(118).

Anonymous. (1887). An Australian Lion. Evening Post (NZ), 29 January, 33(24).

Anonymous. (1910a). Fossils at Abercrombie Caves. Evening News (Sydney, NSW: 1869-1931), Wednesday 20 April 1910, pp. 5.

Anonymous. (1910b). Australian Pouched Tigers. Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876-1954), Friday 22 April 1910, pp. 3.

Anonymous. (1910c). Untitled. The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1860-1954), Monday 25 April 1910, pp. 6. ["Another collection of highly interesting fossil remains..."]

Anonymous. (1910d). Untitled. Supplement to "The Border Watch" (Mount Gambier, SA: 1861-1954), Wednesday 27 April 1910, pp. 1. ["An interesting collection of fossil remains..."]

Anonymous. (1923). Marsupial Tiger. The Mail (Adelaide), Saturday, 31 March, p. 1.

Anonymous. (1923). Zoology: Marsupial Tiger. The Queenslander, Saturday, 7 April, p. 32.

Anonymous. (1923). Marsupial Tiger. Morning Bulletin (Queensland), Saturday, 7 April, p. 8.

Anonymous. (1923). The Marsupial Tiger Hunter. Cairns Post, Wednesday, 18 April, p. 9.

Anonymous. (1932). Unoccupied Wastes. New Zealand Herald, 2 April, LXIX(21147).

Anonymous. (1936). "Only Hearsay Evidence": Marsupial Tiger. The Courier-Mail, Friday, 20 November, p. 12.

Anonymous. (1936). On Mt. Bellenden-Ker. The Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser, Tuesday, 24 November, p. 4.

Anonymous. (1977).Thylacoleo. 6: p. 254. In: The Australian Encyclopaedia. Vol. 4. Grolier Society of Australia: Sydney 3rd edition.

Archer, Michael. (1982). A lion in possum's clothing. Aust. Nat. Hist. 20: 373-379. [relevant citation?]

Archer, Michael and Dawson, I. (1982). Revision of marsupial lions of the genus Thylacoleo Gervais (Thylacoleonidae, Marsupialia) and thylacoleonid evolution in the late Cainozoic, pp. 477-494. In: Archer, Michael (ed.). Carnivorous Marsupials, Vol. 1. Sydney, N. S. W.: Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.

Arman, Samuel D. and Prideaux, Gavin J. (2016). Behaviour of the Pleistocene marsupial lion deduced from claw marks in a southwestern Australian cave. Scientific Reports 6: 21372.

Author?. (1871). On the Fossil Mammals of Australia. Part IV. Dentition and Mandible of Thylacoleo carnifex, with Remarks on the Arguments for Its Herbivority. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society of London 161: 213-266.

Ayliffe, L. K., G. J. Prideaux, M. I. Bird, R. Grün, R. G. Roberts, G. A. Gully, R. Jones, L. K. Fifield, and R. G. Cresswell. 2008. Age constraints on Pleistocene megafauna at Tight Entrance Cave in southwestern Australia. Quaternary Science Reviews 27: 1784-1788.

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Brinsley G. Sheridan, "Notice of the

Existence in Queensland of an Undescribed Species of Mammal," Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1871, pp. 629-630

Brisbane Courier, 1870's

Broom, P. (1898). On the affinities and habits of Thylacoleo. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 23: 57-74.

Burton, Maurice. (1952). The Supposed ‘Tiger-Cat’ of Queensland. Oryx 1: 321-326.

Camens, Aaron Bruce and Carey, Stephen Paul. (2013). Contemporaneous Trace and Body Fossils from a Late Pleistocene Lakebed in Victoria, Australia, Allow Assessment of Bias in the Fossil Record. PLoS ONE 8(1): e52957.

Carey, Stephen P. et al. (2011). A diverse Pleistocene marsupial trackway assemblage from the Victorian Volcanic Plains, Australia. Quaternary Science Reviews 30(5): 591-610. [Abstract]

Case, Judd A. (1985). Differences in prey utilisation by Pleistocene marsupial carnivores, Thylacoleo carnifex (Thylacoleonidae) and Thylacinus cynocephalus (Thylacinidae). Australian Journal of Mammalogy 8(1): 45-52.

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Curry, Michael, Reed, Liz and Bourne, Steve. (2014). Catching the marsupial 'lion' by the tail: [i]Thylacoleo carnifex[/i] and the Naracoorte caves. ACKMA Journal 97: 6-16.

Daily, B. (1960). Thylacoleo, the extinct marsupial lion. Australian Museum Magazine 13: 163-166.

Dash, Mike. (1992). The Lost Australians: Back from Extinction. Fortean Times 62: 54-56.

Dawson, Lyndall. (1985). Marsupial fossils from Wellington Caves, New South Wales; the historic and scientific significance of the collections in the Australia Museum, Sydney. Records of the Australian Museum 37(2): 55-69.

Dawson, L. and Augee, M. L. (1997). The late Quaternary sediments and fossil cave vertebrate fauna from Cathedral Cave, Wellington Caves, New South Wales. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 117: 51-78.

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De Vis, Charles W. (1887). On a femur probably of Thylacoleo. Proc. R. S. Qld. 3: 122-128.

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Errey, K. and Flannery, T. F. (1978). The neglected megafaunal sites of the Colongulac region, western Victoria. The Artefact 3: 101-106.

Etheridge, R. jnr. (1918). The ungual phalanges termed Mylodon australis by Krefft, spelæan animal vel Thylacoleo by Owen, and Thylacoleo by Lydekker. Annals And Magazine of Natural History, ser. 9. 2: 307-318.

Figueirido, B., Martín-Serra, A. and Janis, C. M. (2016). Ecomorphological determinations in the absence of living analogues: the predatory behavior of the marsupial lion ([i]Thylacoleo carnifex[/i]) as revealed by elbow joint morphology. Paleobiology 42(3): 508-531.

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Finch, Eileen. (1983a). Marsupial lion. Australian Natural History 21(2): 67.

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Finch, M. E. (1982). The discovery and interpretation of [i]Thylacoleo carnifex[/i] (Thylacoleonidae, Marsupialia), 537-551. In: Archer, M. (ed.). Carnivorous marsupials. Sydney, Australia: Surrey Beatty & Sons Pty Ltd. and the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.

Finch, M. E. and Freedman, L. (1982). An odontometric study of the species of Thylacoleo (Thylacoleonidae, Marsupialia). Pp. 553–61 in Archer, M. (ed.) Carnivorous marsupials. 2 Vols. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales : Sydney.

Finch, M.E. and Freedman, L. (1986). Functional morphology of the vertebral column of Thylacoleo carnifex Owen (Thylacoleonidae: Marsupialia). Australian Journal of Zoology 34: 1–16.

Finch, M. E. and Freedman, L. (1988). Functional morphology of the limbs of Thylacoleo carnifex Owen (Thylacoleonidae: Marsupialia). Australian Journal of Zoology 36(3): 251-272. [Abstract]

Flannery, Timothy F. and Gott, B. (1984). The Spring Creek locality, southwestern Victoria, a late surviving megafaunal assemblage. Australian Zoologist 21(4): 385-422.

Flower, William Henry. (1868). On the affinities and probable habits of the extinct Australian marsupial, [i]Thylacoleo carnifex[/i], Owen. Quarterly Journal of The Geological Society 24(1-2): 307-319. [Abstract]

Flower, William Henry. (1884). Catalogue of the specimens illustrating the osteology and dentition of vertebrated animals, recent and extinct, contained in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Part 2. Class Mammalia, other than man. London, Royal College of Surgeons of England, xliii, 779 pp.

Gervais, P. (1848-52). Zoologie et paleontologie francaises (animaux vertebres) ou nouvelles recherches sur les animaux vivantes et fossiles de la France. Arthus Bertrand: Paris. Tome 1, 271 pp. Tome II, 146 pp.

Gill, Edmund D. (1954). Ecology and distribution of the extinct giant marsupial ‘‘Thylacoleo’’. Vic. Naturalist 71: 18-36.

Gill, Edmund D. (1963). The Australian Aborigines and the Giant Extinct Marsupials. Australian Natural History 14(8): 263-266.

Gill, Edmund D. (1967). Melbourne Before History Began. Australian Broadcasting Commission, Sydney.

Gill, Edmund D. (1973). Antipodal Distribution of the Holotype Bones of Thylacoleo carnifex Owen (Marsupialia). Sci. Rep. Tohoku Univ., 2nd series (Geol.), Special Volume, no. 6 (Hatai Memorial Volume), pp. 497-499.

Gill, Edmund D. and Banks, M. R. (1956). Cainozoic history of Mowbray Swamp and other areas of northwestern Tasmania. Ibid. 6: 1-42.

Gillespie, R. Horton, D. R., Ladd, P. R., Macumber, P. G., Rich, T. H., Thorne, R. and Wright, R. V. S. (1978). Lancefield Swamp and the extinction of the Australian megafauna. Science 200: 1044-1048.

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Goede, A. and Bada, J. L. (1985). Electron spin resonance dating of Quaternary bone material from Tasmanian caves – a comparison with ages determined by aspartic acid recemization and C14. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 32: 155-162.

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Horton, D. R. and Wright, R.V.S. (1981). Cuts on Lancefield bones: carnivorous Thylacoleo, not humans the cause. Archaeology and Physical Anthropology in Oceania 16: 73-80.

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Krefft, Gerard. (1866). On the dentition of Thylacoleo carnifex (Ow.). Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., series 3 18: 148-149.

Krefft, Gerard. (1866). The Marsupial Lion of Australia—(Thylacoleo carnifex.). The Australasian, Saturday, 12 March, p. 165.

Krefft, Gerard. (1867). Fossil Remains Found In the Caves of Wellington Valley. The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Thursday 3 January 1867, pp. 3.

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Pledge, Neville S. (1990). The Upper Fossil Fauna of the Henschke Fossil Cave, Naracoorte, South Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum (Proceedings of the De Vis Symposium) 28(1): 247-262.

Price, Gilbert J., Louys, Julien, Smith Garry K. and Cramb Jonathan. (2019). Shifting faunal baselines through the Quaternary revealed by cave fossils of eastern Australia. PeerJ 6: e6099.

Price, Gilbert J. and Sobbe, I. H. (2005). Pleistocene palaeoecology and environmental change on the Darling Downs, southeastern Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 51(1): 171-201. [subfossil remains from Darling Downs, Queensland]

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Prideaux, G.J., J. A. Long, L. K. Ayliffe, J. C. Hellstrom, B. Pillans, W. E. Boles, M. N. Hutchinson, R. G. Roberts, M. L. Cupper, L. J. Arnold, P. D. Devine, and N. M. Warburton. (2007b). An arid-adapted middle Pleistocene vertebrate fauna from south-central Australia, Nature 445: 422-425.

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Reed, E. H. (2006). In Situ Taphonomic Investigation of Pleistocene Large Mammal Bone Deposits from The Ossuaries, Victoria Fossil Cave, Naracoorte, South Australia. Helictite 39(1): 5-15. [subfossil record]

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Rhodes, Lyle. (1954). Cape York Tiger (Animal Mysteries Of Australia - No. 2.). Daily Examiner (NSW), Monday, 12 April, p. 4.

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Runnegar, B. (1983). A Diprotodon ulna chewed by the marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex. Alcheringa 7(1): 23-26.

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Scott, H. H. and Lord, C. (1924). Studies in Tasmanian mammals, living and extinct. Notes on a mutilated femur of Nototherium. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1923: 56-57.

Scott, Walter J. (1872a). Letter from W. J. Scott, Addressed to the Secretary, Respecting the Supposed ‘Native Tiger’ of Queensland. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1872: 355.

Scott, Walter J. (1872b). Second Letter from W. J. Scott on the Existence of a ‘Native Tiger’ in Queensland,” Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1872: 796.

Sheridan, Brinsley G. (1871). Notice of the Existence in Queensland of an Undescribed Species of Mammal. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1871: 629-630.

Shuker, Karl. (1989). Mystery Cats of the World. London: Robert Hale. [pp. 209-222]

Smith F.A., Lyons S.K., Ernest S.K.M., Jones K.E., Kaufman D.M., Dayan T., Marquet P.A., Brown J.H., Haskell J.P. 2003 Body mass of late Quaternary mammals. Ecology 84(12), 3403-3403.

Smith, Malcolm. (1996). Bunyips and Bigfoots: In Search of Australia’s Mystery Animals. Alexandria, N.S.W., Australia: Millennium. [pp. 69-93]

Smith, Malcolm. (2012). The Queensland Tiger: Further Evidence on the 1871 Footprint. Journal of Cryptozoology 1: 19-24.

Spencer, B. and Walcott, R. H. (1912). The origin of cuts on bones of Australian extinct marsupials. Proc. Roy. Soc. Vict. 24: 93-133.

Stefen, Clara. (1999). Tooth enamel structure of some Australian carnivorous marsupials. Alcheringa 23(2): 111-132. [Abstract]

Taçon, Paul S. C. and Webb, Steve. (2017). Art and megafauna in the Top End of the Northern Territory, Australia: Illusion or reality?, pp. 145-161. In: David, Bruno et al. (eds.). Terra Australis 47. Acton, A.C.T.: ANU Press. xxvi + 499 pp.

Tate, G. H. H. (1925). Mammals of Cape York Peninsula, with Notes on the Occurrence of Rain Forest in Queensland. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 98: 563-616. [relevant citation?]

Tedford, R. H., and R. T. Wells. 1990. Pleistocene deposits and fossil vertebrates from the Dead Heart of Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 28: 263-284.

Troughton, Ellis Le Geyt. (1946). Furred Animals of Australia. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. 376 pp.

Troughton, Ellis Le Geyt. (1947). Furred Animals of Australia. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1947. [pp. 48-50]

Turney, Chris S. M., Flannery, Timothy F., Roberts, Richard G., Reid, Craig, Fifield, L. Keith, Higham, Tom F. G., Jacobs, Zenobia, Kemp, Noel, Colhoun, Eric A., Kalin, Robert M. and Ogle, Neil. (2008). Late-surviving megafauna in Tasmania, Australia, implicate human involvement in their extinction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 105(34): 12150-12153.

Van Huet, Sanja. (1999). The taphonomy of the Lancefield swamp megafaunal accumulation, Lancefield, Victoria. In: Baynes, Alexander and Long, John A. (eds.). Papers in vertebrate palaeontology. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 57: 331-340.

Welch, David M. (2015). Thy Thylacoleo is a thylacine. Australian Archaeology 80(1): 40-47. [Abstract]

Wells, Rod T. (1975). Reconstructing the Past: Excavations in Fossil Caves. Australian Natural History 18(6): 208-211.

Wells, R. T. (1985). Thylacoleo carnifex: a marsupial lion. In Rich, P. V., van Tets, G. F. & Knight, F. (eds.): Kadimakara: Extinct Vertebrates of Australia, 225–229. Pioneer Design Studio, Canberra.

Wells, Rod T. and Camens, A. B. (2018). New skeletal material sheds light on the palaeobiology of the Pleistocene marsupial carnivore, Thylacoleo carnifex. PLoS ONE 13(12): e0208020.

Wells, R. T., Horton, D. R. and Rogers, P. (1982). Thylacoleo carnifex Owen (Thylacoleonidae, Marsupialia): marsupial carnivore?, pp. 573-585. In: Archer, M. (ed.). Carnivorous marsupials. Sydney, Australia: Surrey Beatty & Sons Pty Ltd. and the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.

Wells, Rod T., Moriarty, K. and Williams, D. L. G. (1984). The fossil vertebrate deposits of Victoria Fossil Cave Naracoorte: an introduction to the geology and fauna. The Australian Zoologist 21(4): 305-333.

Wells, R. T., P. F. Murray, and S. J. Bourne. (2009). Pedal Morphology of the Marsupial Lion Thylacoleo Carnifex (Diprotodontia: Thylacoleonidae) from the Pleistocene of Australia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(4): 1335-40.

Wells, R. T. and Nichol, B. (1977). On the manus and pes of Thyacoleo carnifex Owen (Marsupialia). Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 101(6): 139-146.

Wells, R. T., R. Grün, J. Sullivan, M. S. Forbes, S. N. Dalgairns, E. A. Bestland, E. J. Rhodes, K. E.Walshe, N. A. Spooner, and S. Eggins. (2006). Late Pleistocene megafauna site at Black Creek Swamp, Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Alcheringa Special Issue 1: 367-387.

Werdelin, L. (1988). Circumventing a constraint: the case of Thylacoeo (Marsupialia: Thylacoleonidae). Australian Journal of Zoology 36(5): 565-571.

White, J. Peter and Flannery, Tim. (1995). Late Pleistocene fauna at Spring Creek, Victoria: A re-evaluation. Australian Archaeology 40: 13-17. [link to pdf copy at bottom of the page]

Whitley, Gilbert P. (1940). Mystery animals of Australia. The Australian Museum Magazine 7(4): 132-139.

Williams, Dominic L. G. (1980). Catalogue of Pleistocene vertebrate fossils and sites in South Australia. Proc. R. Soc. S. Aust. 104: 101-115.

Woodhouse, Stan. (2012). Further consideration of a marsupial lion (Thylacoleo carnifex) from a rock painting in The Kimberley, Western Australia. Antiquity 86(332).

Woods, J. T. (1956). The skull of Thylacoleo carnifex. Mem. Qld. Mus. [b]13[/b]: 125-140.

Wright, Dennis. (2002). Thylacoleo Lives. Self published.

Wright, Dennis. (2017). Thylacoleo Lives. Self published. 147 pp.

Wroe, Steven. (2008). High-resolution 3-D computer simulation of feeding behaviour in marsupial and placental lions. Journal of Zoology 274: 332-339.

Wroe, Stephen. (year?). Move Over Sabre-Tooth Tiger. Nature Australia 26(10): 44-51.

Wroe, Stephen, Lowry, Michael B. and Anton, Mauricio. (2008). How to build a mammalian super-predator. Zoology 111: 196-203.

Wroe, Stephen, McHenry, Colin and Thomason, Jeffrey. (2005). Bite club: comparative bite force in big bitingmammals and the prediction of predatory behaviour in fossil taxa. Proc. R. Soc. B 272(1563): 619-625. [Supplementary data]

Wroe, Stephen and Milne, Nicholas. (2007). Convergence and remarkably consistent constraint in the evolution of carnivore skull shape. Evolution 61(5): 1251-1260.

Wroe, Stephen and Musser, A. (2001). The skull of Nimbacinus dicksoni (Thylacinidae: Marsupialia). Australian Journal of Zoology 49: 487-514.

Wroe, S., Myers, T., Seebacher, F., Kear, B., Gillespie, A., Crowther, M. and Salisbury, S. (1999). Estimating the weight of the Pleistocene Marsupial Lion (Thylacoleo carnifex: Thylacoleonidae): implications for the ecomorphology of a marsupial super-predator and hypotheses of impoverishment of Australian marsupial carnivore faunas. Australian Journal of Zoology 47(5): 489–498.

Wroe, S., Myers, T., Seebacher, F., Kear, B., Gillespie, A., Crowther, M., and Salisbury, S. (2003). An alternative method for predicting body-mass: The case of the marsupial lion. Paleobiology 29(3): 403-411.

Young, Emma. (2008). Bearlike superpredator terrorised early humans. New Scientist 198(2654): 15. [Abstract]

Psychic Australian November 1976 [author? volume? pagination?]

ftp://rock.geosociety.org/pub/reposit/2007/2007016.pdf

https://twilightbeasts.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/the-pouched-lion/

https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/84659#page/253/mode/1up

https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/54644#page/329/mode/1up

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queensland_tiger

https://malcolmscryptids.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/the-great-north-queensland-tiger-hunt.html

https://www.idriess.com.au/1thetiger.htm

https://extinctanimals.proboards.com/thread/8347/thylacoleo-australian-quot-lion

https://malcolmscryptids.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-great-north-queensland-tiger-hunt.html

https://malcolmscryptids.blogspot.com/2015/02/more-on-queensland-marsupial-tiger.html

https://malcolmscryptids.blogspot.com/2014/08/strange-striped-animals-in-north.html

 

{tab Agnozoology}

This is the first in a series of terminal tabs that deal with what has traditionally been considered cryptozoology. Since that term and its contents should be rejected (viz. polyphyly), we need a suitable nominal replacement. I suggest agnozoology, which is etymologically the study of unidentified creatures: agnostos (unidentified) + zoo (creature) + logia (study). This renders the field as strictly concerned with taxonomic diagnosis and assignation, and not with unrelated issues such as "out of place" animals. The latter is the subject of conservation biology, since it concerns the global population size of animals. Even if there are multiple candidates1.

This does not have to rob one of the beloved notion of a 'cryptid', as something like 'agnostid' is neither likely to catch on nor demanded by the etymological replacement. It does however mean that 'cryptid' is not fully subsumed under agnozoology. The term 'cryptid' is semantically broader, and hence there are cryptids outside of agnozoology. For example, out of place animals.

1 An important clarification needs to be made here. It is perfectly possible that each of these candidates has not been formally described in the scientific literature. This is because taxonomic diagnosis is primitive, and formal description is not. Most obviously, formal description does not entail taxonomic validity. But more importantly, the diagnosis of a new species is not contingent upon publication. Otherwise we would have an impossible situation. No diagnosis until publication, but then no diagnosis to publish in the first place.

 

Striped, stocky and still surviving?

There are several cryptids which possibly find their true idenitites in Thylacoleo, or at least the thylacoleonid family in general (Wakaleo, etc.). These include the Queensland tiger, the striped marsupial cat and the aboriginal yarri. Descriptions vary, with some being general enough to be interpreted as being consistent with that of the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) (e.g. Naish, 2002). However, other descriptions are seemingly non-thylacine like, such as those of the animal being essentially a 'quoll on steroids'.

Healy & Cropper (1994:102) mention that the earliest possible European report ('tiger') is from Cardwell, Queensland in 1864, however the reportee was a particularly disreputable bullock driver in the employ of W. T. Scott. Either because of the reluctance to accept his report, or because they are simply unaware of it, most authors cite the first European encounter (1871?) as being that of the 13 year old son of police magistrate Brinsley G. Sheridan:

"In a letter addressed to Mr. Sclater [published 1871 in the Proceedings of the zoological Society of London], Mr. B. G. Sheridan, of Cardwell (Queensland), states, in fact, that his son, a boy of 13, who was accustomed to run the woods like an old hunter, was out one day accompanied by a small terrier, when he saw the latter obtain a scent and follow it up with eagerness. Curious to know what game he had to do with, the boy ran after his dog, and found himself face to face with an animal of the size of a dingo dog, with a round head like that of a cat, with a long tail, and with a body striped with yellow and black, and which was crouching in the high grass at about a mile from the coast. The dog and the savage beast soon grappled, and the boy, in order to aid his companion, tried to kill the enemy with a pistol shot, but having merely succeeded in wounding and rendering it more furious, he judged it prudent to beat a retreat." (Anonymous, 1890)

While this remains the earliest known European report that isn't dismissed on the basis of the reputation of the alleged witness, I have discovered on Trove (26 April 2019) an extremely tantalising description that could significantly extend the reports both geographically and temporally:

"We are informed that the tiger cat of the stations in the interior is twice the size of the specimen in question [i.e. 18-inch tail], and striped like the largest variety of the feline race. The striped tiger cat is said to be a formidable enemy to sheep." (Anonymous, 1868)


 

References

Anoynmous. (1868). ['A fine specimen of the native tiger cat...']. The Herald (Melbourne), Tuesday, 16 June, p. 2. [bottom of second-last column]

Anonymous. (1890). The dog-headed opossum. Leader (Melbourne), Saturday, 26 April, p. 8.

Author?. (2003). Qld: mysterious creature roams Cape York". Australian Associated Press General News, 2 July.

Chapple, P. 2000. Mystery animals of Australia: a brief overview. Unpublished report of Rare Fauna Research Association (Monbulk, Victoria).

Healy, T. & Cropper, P. 1994. Out of the Shadows: Mystery Animals of Australia. Ironbark (Chippendale, Australia).

Heuvelmans, Bernard (1995) [1958]. On the Track of Unknown Animals. (translated from the French by Richard Garnett, drawings by Alika Lindbergh, introduction by Gerald Durrell). London & New York : Kegan Paul International.

"Highlands.". (1937). Queensland's Marsupial Tiger. In: "Wolves, Tigers and Devils": Australia's Flesh-Eating Marsupials. Sydney Mail, Wednesday, 23 June, p. 44.

Le Souef, A. S. and Burrell, Harry. (1926). The Wild Animals of Australasia: Embracing the Mammals of New Guinea and the Nearer Pacific Islands: With a Chapter on the Bats of Australia and New Guinea by Ellis Le G. Troughton (Zoologist Australian Museum Sydney). Sydney: G.G. Harrap. 388 pp. [pp. 329-332]

Macdonald, Donald. (1929). Bush Notes. The Australasian, Saturday, 8 June, p. 50. ["As for reports which occasionally drift in"]

Naish, Darren. (2002). Downfall of the Yarri, or Will the real Thylacoleo please stand up? Fortean Times, available at: https://web.archive.org/web/20020803011424/https://www.forteantimes.com/exclusive/thylacine.shtml [accessed 27 April 2019]

Naish, Darren. (2010). Rilla Martin's 1964 photo of the 'Ozenkadnook tiger'. Blog post at Tetrapod Zoology (2nd version), 18 August, available at: https://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/2010/08/18/rilla-martins-1964-photo

Naish, Darren. (2017). The Ozenkadnook Tiger Photo Revealed as a Hoax. Blog Post at Tetrapod Zoology (3rd edition), 29 March, available at: https://web.archive.org/web/20170629060402/https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/the-ozenkadnook-tiger-photo-revealed-as-a-hoax/

Troughton, Ellis Le Geyt. (1965). Furred Animals of Australia, 8th edition. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. 376 pp.

Williams, M. & Lang, R. 2010. Australian Big Cats: An Unnatural History of Panthers. Strange Nation (Hazelbrook, Australia).

https://yowietracks.com/2021/02/17/hold-that-tiger-by-lennie-wallace/
 
https://yowietracks.com/2020/06/11/historical-account-15-the-striped-marsupial-cat/
 
https://yowietracks.com/2020/06/11/thoughts-opinions-2-was-a-thylacine-skin-once-displayed-in-paluma-in-the-1960s/
 
https://yowietracks.com/2020/06/27/historical-account-16-striped-marsupial-cats-reported-in-tully/
 
https://yowietracks.com/2020/05/09/historical-account-10-was-a-real-marsupial-tiger-shot-in-a-1932-expedition/
 
https://yowietracks.com/2020/05/25/historical-account-13-marsupial-tigers-in-the-north/
 
https://yowietracks.com/2020/05/11/historical-account-12-the-great-tiger-hunt-of-1923/
 
https://yowietracks.com/2020/09/12/encounter-15-another-tableland-tiger/

 

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