Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Marsupial lion 'stalks' Tweed

NOT everyone is prepared to dismiss the Tweed legend of a large flesh-eating marsupial lion stalking the dense hinterland near Tumbulgum, with a handful of locals convinced the beast is real.
For years an urban myth about this ancient creature has circulated on the Tweed.
But experts reject the theory, saying Thylacoleo carnifex (murderous lion) was too long extinct.
Fossils indicate the marsupial lion was the largest meat-eating mammal known to have ever existed in Australia.
The beasts were about 75cm high at the shoulder and about 150cm from head to tail and had retractable claws, a trait unique to marsupials.
Tweed Historical Society member Brian Boyd said he heard the stories about a creature near north Tumbulgum and from the descriptions he had been given, it could only be one thing.
"I know a few people who have seen the creature. They have recalled it for me and provided sketches," he said.
"Every time we get the same description. It looks like a large tiger or lion but it has cramped-up hind legs more like a marsupial.
"It has a thick stunted nose like a wombat and is covered in brindle fur with sulphur yellow spots.
"These descriptions fit the bill with the marsupial lion."

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