Sunday, May 10, 2009

Marsupial "Lion" Cave Painting

This discovery doesn't have a lot of apologetic value, but I think it's interesting.

Modern Australia lacks big land predators, but until about 30,000 years ago, the continent was ruled by Thylacoleo carnifex, the marsupial "lion."

Several well-preserved skeletons of the leopard-size beast have been found. Now, a newly discovered cave painting offers a glimpse of the animal's external appearance.

Image credit: Reconstruction of a marsupial "lion"; cave art suggests the animal had stripes. Credit: Tom Willing (top); Peter Murray (bottom)

Popular article: Stephan Reebs, "Cave Painting Depicts Extinct Marsupial Lion," Natural History Magazine.

Technical article: Kim Akerman & Tim Willing, "An ancient rock painting of a marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex,
from the Kimberley, Western Australia
," Antiquity Vol 83 Issue 319 March 2009.

One thing that particularly interests me about this discovery is the integration of zoology and bio-mechanical and other anatomical investigations with paleontology. It's great when scientists across various disciplines collaborate like this. It furthers everyone's knowledge. Now if we could just get the scientists and theologians to talk to each other...

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