Fossil Marsupial Predators

The 15 families of extinct carnivorous and insectivorous South American Marsupials show striking convergences with placental cats, sabre-tooths, dogs and shrews. Illustrated are the dog-like skulled Prothylacynus from the Pliocene (top) and the related but later Thylacosmilus (skull illustrated lower top and pictured below) that is almost indistinguishable from placental sabretoothed cats that lived in North America at the same time (although the sabre is continuously growing)

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Thylacosmilus skull, American Museum of Natural History, New York