The Riversleigh fossil site in northwestern Queensland, Australia, is home to a rich fauna of Oligocene to Miocene aged marsupials. A new fossil site called Wholly Dooley Hill has been discovered near Riversleigh. Wholly Dooley Hill preserves sediments that were deposited in the floor of a limestone cave, a cave that has since eroded and only preserves its floor.
Within the sediments paleontologist have discovered a single lower molar of a new, large predatory marsupial. A team led by Michael Archer has named the new taxon, Whollydooleya tomnpatrichorum, after Wholly Dooley Hill, and Australian paleontologists Tom and Pat Rich. The scientists compared Whollydooleya to other mammals and determined that it's a member of the Dasyuromorpha, a group of marsupials that includes Tasmanian devils and the recently extinct thylacines among others. Tasmanian devils are, in fact, real animals, but nothing like the bipedal always-skips-leg-day spinning monsters of cartoon fame. In reality, Tasmanian devils are beefy terrier or raccoon-sized predators native to Tasmania, and fairly recently, native to the remainder of Australia. Thylacines were superficially wolf-like (and wolf-sized) predatory marsupials that lived until quite recently on Tasmania. A striped coat led to the nickname Tasmanian tigers.
Like Tasmanian devils and thylacines, Whollydooleya shows numerous adaptations for a hypercarnivorous lifestyle. Although they can't be entirely certain with just a single tooth to go by, the researchers have pointed out numerous features of Whollydooleya that link it more closely to Tasmanian devils than to thylacines.