Scientists A. Murat Maga and Robin M. D. Beck have announced the discovery of a carnivorous marsupial named Anatoliadelphys from Eocene-aged rocks in central Turkey. This specimen was discovered in 44-million-year-old rocks of the Uzunçarşıdere Formation and is made up of the majority of the skull and skeleton. It is named for Anatolia, the mountainous peninsula that makes up the Asian portion of Turkey.
Anatoliadelphys lived just about 20 million years after the mass extinction that wiped out the non-avian dinosaurs and was one of dozens of mammalian carnivores around the world filling the roles once occupied by small carnivorous dinosaurs. Anatoliadelphys is notable, however, because very few of the mammals in northern continents were pouched marsupials.
Anatoliadelphys was about the same size as living housecats, and like cats was a hunter of small animals. The molars were incredibly stout, with proportions like those of living bone-eating mammals, and the jaw and neck muscles were very strong. Maga and Beck found that Anatoliadelphys most likely killed prey by violently shaking it while biting down. The limbs show some adaptations for climbing, but Anatoliadelphys probably spent most of its time hunting on the forest floor.