NEXT UP: #4 seed Andrewsarchus mongoliensis vs #5 seed Thylacoleo carnifex! #2018MMM
To get here, Andrewsarchus taste-tested Nuralagus rex & the giant short-faced kangaroo blundered against our marsupial lion from down under, Thylacoleo! (AM: Bogdanov 2006; TC: Roman Yevseyev #2018MMM
Now the 135kg Thylacoleo has bought a ticket to Inner Mongolia to face off against the (estimated) 810kg Andrewsarchus. Whether that ticket is one-way or round-trip remains to be seen. #2018MMM
While Thylacoleo was top marsupial in Australia, Andrewsarchus was far from the only large meat-eater roaming Inner Mongolia during the mid-Eocene.

Meet the ~800kg Sarkastodon mongoliensis (Roman Uchytel; #2018MMM
Sarkastodon was a carnivorous species possibly related to mondern-day pangolins (…)!

And though they looked like cats, they didn't run around on their toes (digitigrade); they were "flat-footed" (plantigrade), like bears or fosa! #2018MMM
Fun fact: humans (like Kylo or Killmonger) are also plantigrade. Our flat-footed stance might allow us to punch harder. (ht @maryscavenger)… #2018MMM
So let's just say that Andrewsarchus might not be too shocked by the presence of a cat-like carnivore in its home territory. No Nuralagus surprise advantage for Thylacoleo! (video: @trashvis) #2018MMM
It's shortly after dusk, and Andrewsarchus is on the trail of something delicious. Someone has made a fresh kill, and if the killer is small enough, Andrewsarchus is ready to take the kill for its own. #2018MMM
Andrewsarchus noses through the brush and comes upon the body of a Metatelmatherium (a rhino-looking horse relative).

The 134kg Meta has huge puncture wounds on the back of its neck


it has been disembowled.… #2018MMM
A terrifying growl comes from the shadows. This is Thylacoleo's kill, & carnivores are typically unwilling to give up their food, even if (here Andrewsarchus makes its full size known) the thief is enormous. #2018MMM
Andrewsarchus sees the cat-like Thylacoleo. A tiny Sarkastodon? Andrewsarchus bluff charges, certain that the threat of all 810kg of it coming down upon Thylacoleo will make it run. #2018MMM
Andrewsarchus is wrong.

Dead wrong? 🤨🤨🤨 #2018MMM
Thylacoleo lashes out with its disembowling claws, tearing flesh! #2018MMM
Andrewsarchus retreats. Hot blood drips from its snout.

Thylacoleo bears its large, sharp incisors.

Andrewsarchus channels its pain and confusion into rage and charges Thylacoleo, for real this time. #2018MMM
Thylacoleo tries for another slash, but Andrewsarchus isn't stopping.

Thylacoleo jumps back, away from its kill, at the last second!! #2018MMM
Andrewsarchus opens its mouth wide in a threat display and looms over the kill.

This tiny, weird Sarkastodon needs to take this L, or it might gets its bones crushed, like the Nuralagus. #2018MMM
Thylacoleo circles, furious, slashing out at Andrewsarchus' rump, drawing more blood. Andrewsarchus follows, attempting to keep its dangerous mouth facing the Thylacoleo.

It won't give up the carcass. #2018MMM
Thylacoleo growls again, but it knows when its outclassed. There's plenty of Metas out there to kill; meanwhile, fighting this tank might end with it very injured (…).

After a self-soothing lick, Thylacoleo sulks off into the gloom. #2018MMM

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More from @am_anatiala

Apr 3, 2018
UP NEXT: #1 seed Orinoco Crocodile vs #2 seed Amebelodon! #2018MMM
Tonight's battle also brought to you by @chumblebiome, @drew_lab, @MarkKissel, and @c_n_anderson. #2018MMM
Our fierce competitors tonight have crushed all that have dared stand before them in previous rounds. #2018MMM
Read 32 tweets
Mar 30, 2018
NEXT UP: #1 seeded PYGMY HIPPO vs. #2 seeded CHEETAH! #2018MMM

(photo credit: #actuallivingscientist @AnneWHilborn, Dr. John Carroll (…), Dr. Hernandez (…) & @conservationorg (
Tonight's battle was a tag-team collab between @AnneWHilborn (Anne) and @am_anatiala (Asia)! #whapalabmates #2018MMM
ASIA: So, Anne, I wouldn't think that this 130lb/265 stoat-heavy fast cat would make it this far. Cheetahs aren't generally considered great fighters, right? *whispers* Unlike Kylo. #2018MMM #StoatsAsMeasurement
Read 22 tweets
Mar 29, 2018
'TIS THE FINALE!! #1 seeded Doedicurus clavicaudatus vs. #4 seeded Andrewsarchus mongoliensis!

(DC:…; AM: Bogdanov 2006) #2018MMM
Tonight's battle has been brought to you by the mighty collaboration of @PKurnath & I. #teamwork #TeamKylo #2018MMM
Doedicurus, a.k.a. #TankMammal, made it to the #Sweet16 by being large like a boulder and tough like a battering ram. #2018MMM
Read 20 tweets
Mar 23, 2018
#1 seed Harar hyena
#8 seed Bristol fox!
Less than two days ago, the hyena from the walled eastern Ethiopian city of Harar devoured the Belo Horizonte marmoset, & the Bristol fox scare off a raccoon from some choice eggshells. Now these carnivores will face each other! #2018MMM
The Harar hyena & Bristol fox diverged around 54 mya, near the beginning of the Eocene ( The Earth was warming, the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere doubled, & Antarctica was nearly tropical 🌴 (…). #2018MMM
Read 14 tweets
Mar 22, 2018
#1 seed Orinoco crocodile 🐊
#16 seed praying mantis! 🙏🏽🦗
The croc & mantis diverged ~797 mya ( Around this time the Earth went through an ice age that covered the entire world.

This might have led to the rise of algae due to glaciers grinding up stone into nutrients! #2018MMM…
The praying mantis showed itself to be a stealthy predator of the bigger goldcrest in the wildcard battle (here's a play-by-play of that battle:…). #2018MMM
Read 19 tweets
Mar 16, 2018
NEXT UP: #4 seed Andrewsarchus mongoliensis vs #13 seed Nuralagus rex! #2018MMM
Not much is known about A. mongoliensis because the only evidence we have of their existence is one massive, 3-foot long skull with enormous teeth (see quoted tweet). We know that they lived in Inner Mongolia about 45 mya. #2018MMM
Here’s a picture of what A. mongoliensis might have looked like (credit: Bogdanov 2006) #2018MMM
Read 17 tweets

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