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Phathera

Picture by Eugeny Hontor

Ancestor of this furious marsupial predator can be nowadays living in Australia marsupial rat (Phascogale tapoatafa). Researchers from times of the A. E. Brem mark significant bloodthirstiness of this small mammal. This line of evolution has resulted in Neocene formation in a most furious and successful marsupial predator - the marsupial panther.

The marsupial panther is the largest predator of Australia. It grows to the size of a lion: length of a body (without a tail) is up to 2 meters, a tail - up to 1 meter, weight is about 220 - 230 kg. The head is short and wide, canines in top jaw jut out from a little the closed mouth. Paws are long, with powerful claws, the animal looks like a long-legged cat by proportions. Colouring of a body is grey with cross black stripes on crupper (as at Thylacinus) and paws, a stomach is white. The tail is covered with short grey hair, on its end there is a rich hairy brush of black hair. Top of a head and nose bridge are dark. A voice sounds like a deep growling.

Phathera2

Initial image - pictured by Pavel Volkov

This predator eats large ground animals. Marsupial panther traps catch by different ways: attacking from a tree growing on a track, trapping at a watering place, hunting from ambush. This predator often pursues herd and kills weakened and fallen behind animals. Solitary species, protects territory supervising strictly. During breeding season males come on the next territories of females and form a pair of both animals hunting together in territory for some time. Over of a breeding season only the female and the grown up cubs, or the young animals who just have left mother hunt together. For one year female gives birth to one pack; in a pack, as a rule, there is no more than 5 cubs, usually this number is less. The marsupium opening back is well-advanced. Cubs remain in the marsupium before achievement of weight by them 250 - 300 grammes. Cubs who have left mother’s marsupium stay in the lair on the ground, among rocks or in the fallen trees. At the age of 3 months they study to hunt wounded catch, later participate in hunting together with mother. 6 - 7-month-aged cubs leave mother and first time keep by pack.

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