An artist’s impression of the Wakaleo schouteni marsupial ‘lion’ challenging a thylacine over the carcass of a kangaroo in the early Miocene rainforest of Riversleigh. Peter Schouten, Author provided
My colleagues and I have discovered a new species of marsupial lion, Wakaleo schouteni, from the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in northwest Queensland. The species was the size of a Collie dog and weighed about 23 kilograms.
Fossils of this species include a beautifully preserved skull, jaws and upper arm bones. These were recovered from sites that have been dated at around 18 million years old (a period known as the early Miocene), and from others that are estimated to be older (the late Oligocene period, approximately 23 million years old).