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Mirriuula - Neocene Project

By electreel
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Mirriuula (Diablowallabia camelophoneus)
Order: Marsupials (Marsupialia)
Family: Kangaroos (Macropodidae)
Habitat: Meganesia, mountains in the east, to the south up to Flinders Range; forests and bush.
The majority of kangaroo species represents herbivores of plains, bush and mountains. But it is not only ecological niche which these animals could occupy. The species of carnivorous kangaroo rats Ekaltadeta ima weight about 15 kgs, and also one more predatory kangaroo, Propleopus oscillans lived in the past in territory of Australia. In human epoch some wallabies differed in propensity to zoophagy. After extinction of placentary predators because of epizooties various species of marsupials occupied an ecological niche of carnivores during Neocene with different degrees of success. The small naked-breasted kangaroo, scavenger kangaroo rat (Harpotorous microraptor), lives in semideserts of Meganesia, eating carrion and the rests of prey of large predatory reptiles. The result of other attempt of kangaroos to develop predatoriness is mirriuula, the descendant of mountain wallaby (Petrogale) living in mountain areas of Meganesia.
Mirriuula is named after mythical demonic dog from folklore of Australian aborigenes, and quite justifies this name. It is a furious kangaroo weighting about 100 kgs, with flexible torso and long fluffy tail serving for balance. It is a predator eating birds, herbivorous kangaroos and mountain camelopes.
Mirriuula is not too similar to usual kangaroos by its constitution. It has rather short hind legs, and rather seldom rears on them. The mode of its movement is galloping jumping and true gallop. Mirriuula moves only on hind legs very seldom – usually it does it, attacking prey. At this time its forepaws are free, and mirriuula seizes prey by them. Mirriuula can run quickly both on short, and on long distances, but on open district or in foothills it frequently conflicts with other marsupial predators. But in mountains this species is out of competition. It gets big advantage in hilly terrain over marsupial jaguar and marsupial panther, surpassing them in dexterity. Besides these predators are more heat-loving and prefer not to come into mountains. And mirriuula is able to chase prey on hillsides; it arranges ambushes on tracks and frequently hunts in mountain forests and among thickets of undersized eucalypti. Colouring of wool of the mirriuula helps it to remain unnoticed. The basic background of colouring is brownish-grey, darker on head and paws. Tail is light grey, and its tip is almost white. On back of animal there are some longitudinal lines of dark spots.
Having long and strong limbs and hard bent claws, mirriuula can easily catch up and kill the goat-sized prey. It snatches on prey and brings it down on the ground with the help of strong forepaws, and then tears its throat by long pointed incisors slightly directed forward and closed, as a nipper. With the help of incisors this predator can easily bite through neck of prey. In strong jaws cutting molars with jagged edge and peaked molars easily cracking bones and tearing meat from them grow.
The muzzle of animal resembles cat's one a little – it is short and high, with large mobile ears. In nasal cavity of animal the olfactory epithelium forms many plicas; therefore sense of smell of this animal is very keen.
This is solitary animal strictly protecting its territory. At the territory of mirriuula there are some shelters, one of which is used constantly, and others are temporary; animal spends night in them, when eats large prey left near them.
At the territory of Meganesia smaller relative of mirriuula lives – fox wallaby (Diablowallabia omnivorodentus). This species inhabits plains overgrown with high grass, where it builds shelter representing deep hole. It hunts or traps in ambush small vertebrates, eats insects, digs out grubs, nutritious stalks and tubers of plants. It can run very quickly – as quickly, as its large relative. This animal has larger ears resembling ears of fennec fox – it is the adaptation for heat emitting. The wool of fox wallaby is colored yellowish-grey with several longitudinal lines of brown spots.

These species of animals were discovered by Tim Morris, Adelaide, Australia
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anonymous's avatar
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indigomagpie's avatar
Interesting, but why did it revert to a normal mammalian gait?
electreel's avatar
I really don know. Maybe itś more appropiate for a predator like it.