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Isla MuertaEdit

Thylacoleo

Illustration by FeatherTail of JPLegacy.

Common Name: Marsupial Lion
Length: 7 feet
Height: 3.2 feet at shoulder, 5 feet when reared up
Weight: 370 pounds

Coloration:

Adults (both sexes): Autumnal brown bodies with quoll-like patterning across the flanks which are unique to the individual. A single dark band runs from the nose to the base of the tail, where it becomes indistinguishable from the dark coloured tail, which is banded with white stripes down its length.
Juveniles (both sexes): Light grey, with no distinct patterning beside faint banding of the tail.

Diet: Meat; known to actively hunt larger herbivores as well as scavenge and bully other predators away from a kill. Powerfully built, Thylacoleo can; like Smilodon; wrestle large prey to the ground with relative ease. Kills are often dragged into caves or the forks of trees to be devoured; out of reach of other large predators such as Smilodon and Ornithosuchus. Its favoured prey is Diprotrodon which often occupied the same environments as Thylacoleo. Thylacoleo also regularly preys on other carnivores, targeting game as dangerous as Dinofelis, young Megalania; and subadult Smilodon . For this reason, Thylacoleo is one of the natural predator population controls on Muerta.

Preferred Habitat: Densely wooded areas, scrubland, rocky outcrops; and caves. A powerful build, coupled with self-sharpening claws, allow Thylacoleo to climb up both trees and rocky cliffs, leading to a life often lived within dense jungles and within mountainous areas where caves form the staple shelter.

Social Structure: Solitary, except for in the case of mothers and their young.


The most dangerous marsupial carnivore to ever live, Thylacoleo’s closest relatives outside Muerta are koalas and wombats. Physically, Thylacoleo resembles densely-muscled felines or bears. Its tail is relatively long and stiff, and is used to counter-balance the body for short periods of time, allowing for a bipedal pose - which is often used to intimidate rivals or other predators.

Thylacoleo's bite force is the strongest of any mammal species cloned by InGen, and its large teeth - which appear to form a continuous blade-like edge - are capable of shearing of flesh or crushing bone with equal ease. Its large claws are retractable, and each forehand possesses a semi-opposable thumb with an exaggerated thumb spike, used to disembowel prey; defending itself against other predators; and for sparring with other males during the breeding season.

Thylacoleo is leopard-like in its mannerisms. Massive bulk and muscular physique mean it is somewhat slower than other species, however it is an adept climber thanks to its powerful limbs and well-developed claws. These traits mean hunting usually takes the form of an ambush; with an individual patiently waiting within trees or atop rocky escarpments for prey to amble by, before descending upon its unsuspecting victim by literally dropping onto it. Kills are barbaric, with the marsupial lion's savage thumb-claws capable of inflictive massive wounds, and its 'bolt-cutter' teeth crushing bone and rending apart soft tissue with ease.

Like all marsupials, Thylacoleo give birth to foetal young - often in the form of identical or fraternal twins - which then travel to the mother's pouch where they continue to develop until they are capable of moving about independantly. Most will continue to return to the pouch for warmth, shelter and protection until they are simply too large to fit. Males take no part in the offspring's development, although parents seem capable of recognizing their own young even up until adulthood, so cannibalism is uncommon.

Thylacoleo is notable for its aggressive disposition, although intraspecific competition is rare other than in the breeding season, when males spar for the right to mate using their large thumb claws. Typical vocalizations consist snarls, growls, and high pitched shrieks. Competing males are far more recognizable by the deep, booming calls that they issue to one another.

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