Skip to comments.Australians Find Huge Mega-Wombat Graveyard
Posted on 06/21/2012 7:34:41 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Australian scientists yesterday unveiled the biggest-ever graveyard of an ancient rhino-sized mega-wombat called diprotodon, with the site potentially holding valuable clues on the species extinction.
The remote fossil deposit in outback Queensland state is thought to contain up to 50 diprotodon skeletons including a huge specimen named Kenny, whose jawbone alone is 70cm long.
Lead scientist on the dig, Scott Hocknull from the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, said Kenny was one of the largest diprotodons he had ever seen and one of the best preserved specimens.
Pigeon-toed and with a backward-facing pouch large enough to carry an adult human, Hocknull likened diprotodon to a cross between a wombat and a bear but the size of a rhinoceros. The deposit contained the largest concentration of mega-wombat fossils ever discovered and could hold important clues on how the diprotodon lived and what caused it to perish, he said.
When we did the initial survey I was just completely blown away by the concentrations of these fragments, he told AFP by telephone from the far-flung desert dig site, which he estimated at between 100,000-200,000 years old. Its a palaeontologists goldmine where we can really see what these megafauna were doing, how they actually behaved, what their ecology was.
With so many fossils it gives us a unique opportunity to see these animals in their environment, basically, so we can reconstruct it.
The mega-wombats appeared to have been trapped in boggy conditions at the site after seeking refuge there from extremely dry conditions during a period of significant climate change in ancient Australia, he added.
Diprotodon, the largest marsupial ever to roam the earth, weighing up to 2.8 tonnes, lived between 2mn and 50,000 years ago and died out around the time indigenous tribes first appeared.
(Excerpt) Read more at gulf-times.com ...
I just like saying wombat.
Wombat. What a great word.
Are these the ancestors of Side-Hill Wombats?
He told me his name was Bruce.
I like saying mega-wombat.
But 70 cm lower jaw... 27 inches? Dat's a big wombat.
That's just so wrong, on so many levels.
Yeah Wombats are marsupials, but I’ve got a family of fat and happy squirrels running around on my roof right now that might give these old boys a run for their money judging by the thunderous patter.
Wombat stuck in water pipe
Picture at link.
“Megafauna are thought to have evolved to such large sizes to cope with inhospitable climates and food scarcity”
Pot induced thought perhaps....
A species grows to such large sizes because THEY ARE THRIVING!
Since when does “food scarcity” drive growth?
If their screwy theory held, the N. Koreans would be 10 ft. tall, rather than 4’ 9”.
Get an air rifle and be discreet.
Those beady eyes don’t look too bright.
Well, yeah, true enuff, but yet I could just peel them off the road in the near future and toss them on the grill provided they’re still warm....the little fellers have a short half-life round here. Clever as they are otherwise, they just don’t *get* the traffic thing.
Could be an ancestor of the Flying Purple People Eater.
Okay, if you solicit the names, I’ll do it.
It’s a woody word.