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Temporal range: Late Oligocene–Early Miocene
Thylacinus macknessi lived during the early Miocene and is the oldest known member of the genus Thylacinus . It is named after Brian Mackness, a supporter of Australian vertebrate paleontology.
The Miocene is the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about(Ma). The Miocene was named by Charles Lyell; its name comes from the Greek words μείων and καινός and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern sea invertebrates than the Pliocene. The Miocene is preceded by the Oligocene and is followed by the Pliocene.
Thylacinus is a genus of extinct carnivorous marsupials from the order Dasyuromorphia. The only recent member was the thylacine, commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger or Tasmanian wolf, which became extinct in 1936 due to hunting. The other animals in the group all lived in prehistoric times in Australia. An unidentified species of the genus is known from the Pleistocene of New Guinea.
T. macknessi was a quadrupedal marsupial predator, that in appearance looked similar to a dog with a long snout. Its molar teeth were specialized for carnivory; the cups and crest were reduced or elongated to give the molars a cutting blade.
When the species was first described, only the posterior section of the jaw was known. Two years later in 1995 at the same fossil site, Muirhead and Gillespie found the anterior half of the specimen in a block of limestone. Its fossils have been found in north-western Queensland at the Riversleigh world heritage area at Neville's Garden Site.
Queensland is the second-largest and third-most populous state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. To its north is the Torres Strait, with Papua New Guinea located less than 200 km across it from the mainland. The state is the world's sixth-largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 square kilometres (715,309 sq mi).
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The order Peramelemorphia includes the bandicoots and bilbies; it equates approximately to the mainstream of marsupial omnivores. All members of the order are endemic to the twin land masses of Australia-New Guinea and most have the characteristic bandicoot shape: a plump, arch-backed body with a long, delicately tapering snout, very large upright ears, relatively long, thin legs, and a thin tail. Their size varies from about 140 grams up to 4 kilograms, but most species are about one kilogram, or the weight of a half-grown kitten.
Thylacinidae is an extinct family of carnivorous, superficially dog-like marsupials from the order Dasyuromorphia. The only species to survive into modern times was the thylacine, which became extinct in 1936.
Obdurodon dicksoni is an extinct species of ornithorhynchid monotreme discovered in Australia. In life, it would have resembled a much larger version of its living relative, the platypus. The animal is known from Riversleigh fossils and is thought to have existed in the early to mid Miocene era, inhabiting pools and streams of freshwater in a rainforest environment. Unlike the modern species, the animal retained its molars into adulthood and had a spoon-shaped bill that suggest they fed near the surface or edge of the water.
Riversleigh World Heritage Area is Australia's most famous fossil location, recognised for the series of well preserved fossils deposited from the early Miocene to more recent geological periods. The fossiliferous limestone system is located near the Gregory River in the north-west of Queensland, an environment that was once a very wet rainforest that became more arid as the Gondwanan land masses separated and the Australian continent moved north. The 100-km2 area has fossil remains of ancient mammals, birds, and reptiles of the Oligocene and Miocene ages, many of which were discovered and are only known from the Riversleigh area; the species that have occurred there are known as the Riversleigh fauna.
The Alcoota Fossil Beds are an important paleontological site in the Northern Territory of Australia located on Alcoota Station in the locality of Anmatjere about 115 kilometres (71 mi) north-east of Alice Springs in the Central Australia region. It is notable for the occurrence of well-preserved, rare, Miocene vertebrate fossils, which provide evidence of the evolution of the Northern Territory’s fauna and climate. The Alcoota Fossil Beds are also significant as a research and teaching site for palaeontology students.
Thylacinus potens was the largest species of the family Thylacinidae, originally known from a single poorly preserved fossil discovered by Michael O. Woodburne in 1967 in a Late Miocene locality near Alice Springs, Northern Territory. It preceded the most recent species of thylacine by 4–6 million years, and was 5% bigger, was more robust and had a shorter, broader skull. Its size is estimated to be similar to that of a grey wolf; the head and body together were around 5 feet long, and its teeth were less adapted for shearing compared to those of the now-extinct thylacine.
Thylacoleonidae is a family of extinct meat-eating marsupials from Australia, referred to as marsupial lions. The best known is Thylacoleo carnifex, also called the marsupial lion. The clade ranged from the Late Oligocene to the Pleistocene, with some species the size of a possum and others as large as a leopard. The discovery of a new small sized species indicates a higher ecological diversity than previously thought. As a whole, they were largely arboreal, in contrast to the mostly terrestrial dasyuromorphs, monitor lizards and mekosuchines.
Palorchestes is an extinct genus of terrestrial, herbivorous marsupials of the family Palorchestidae. The genus was endemic to Australia, living from the Miocene through to the Pleistocene epochs.
Thylacinus megiriani lived during the late Miocene, 8 million years ago; the area T. megiriani inhabited in the Northern Territory was covered in forest with a permanent supply of water.
Maximucinus muirheadae lived from the late Oligocene to middle Miocene and is the largest thylacinid species known to have lived in Australia from the late Oligocene to the middle Miocene. The species was a quadrupedal marsupial predator, that in appearance looked similar to a dog with a long snout. Its molar teeth were specialized for carnivory; the cups and crest were reduced or elongated to give the molars a cutting blade. It is estimated to have weighed about 18 kilograms.
Mutpuracinus archibaldi is an extinct carnivorous, quadrupedal marsupial that lived during the middle Miocene and is the smallest known thylacinid at approximately 1.1 kilograms, the size of a quoll, though, more closely related to the recently extinct thylacine.
Ngamalacinus timmulvaneyi lived during the early Miocene and has been found in Riversleigh.
Wabulacinus ridei lived during the early Miocene in Riversleigh. It is named after David Ride, who made the first revision of thylacinid fossils. The material was found in system C of the Camel Spurtum assembledge.
Thylacoleo hilli lived during the Pliocene and was half the size of Thylacoleo crassidentatus.
Microleo attenboroughi is a very small species of the Thylacoleonidae family from the Early Miocene of Australia, living in the wet forest that dominated Riversleigh about 18 million years ago. The genus Microleo is currently known from a broken palate, two pieces of jaw, containing some teeth and roots that correspond to those found in other species of thylacoleonids. The shape and structure of the blade-like P3 tooth, a premolar, distinguished the species as a new genus. It was found in Early Miocene-aged deposits of the Riversleigh fossil site in Queensland, regarded as one of the most significant palaeontological sites yet discovered, and named for the naturalist David Attenborough in appreciation of his support for its heritage listing. The anatomy of Microleo suggests the genus is basal to all the known thylacoleonids, known as the marsupial lions, although its relative size prompted a discover to describe it as the "feisty" kitten of the family.
Brevipalatus mcculloughi is species of bat that existed in the early Miocene. It was discovered at a fossil deposit of the Riversleigh World Heritage Area.
Hipposideros winsburyorum is a hipposiderid species of bat known by fossil specimens, one of the many new taxa of chiropterans discovered in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area. The species existed during the Pliocene.
Crash bandicoot is a mammal species of the peramelid family known from fossils located at the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in northeast Australia. The discovery of the specimens was identified as deposited around fifteen million years ago, revising the earliest record of this peramelemorphian lineage from evidence of species that existed around ten million years later.
Liyamayi dayi is a mammal species of the Thylacomyidae family known from fossils located at the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in northeast Australia. The discovery of the specimens was identified as deposited around fifteen million years ago, revising the earliest record of this peramelemorphian lineage from those of species that existed around ten million years later.
Thylacinus yorkellus is a fossil species of carnivorous marsupial, a sister species of the recently extinct Thylacinus cynocephalus, the Tasmanian tiger, both of which existed on mainland Australia.