Three more kinds of extinct kangaroos have been found by researchers; one of them is over 6.6 feet tall.

,- Three new species of enormous kangaroos have been found by researchers that lived between 5 million and 40,000 years ago; one of these is almost double the size of the biggest kangaroos alive now.
A release from Flinders University in South Australia states that scientists now think that the enormous kangaroos of the genus Protemnodon had a wider range, more variability in their morphology, and a more varied hopping style than was previously thought.

The main focus of the study, published on Monday in the Megataxa journal, is the discovery of many complete fossil skeletons by paleontologists near Lake Callabonna in southern Australia. It allowed a team led by Flinders University paleontologist Isaac Kerr to answer long-standing questions about Protemnodon.

South Australian archeologists are excavating at Lake Callabonna with volunteers.
Flinders University student Aaron Camens is a volunteer archaeologist at South Australia's Lake Callabonna.

Although Protemnodon fossils are common in Australia, because the relics were usually single bones rather than complete animals, little is known about the animals.
Though, as said, they were bigger and more muscular, the kangaroos of the past would have looked very similar to those of today.

The three newly found species would have also adapted and moved differently to survive in different environments, claim the researchers.

At 170 kilograms (375 pounds), one species, P. viator, may have been double the size of the biggest male red kangaroos alive today.

That the tallest would have stood more than two meters (6.6 feet) tall.
Its proportions, which resembled those of modern red and grey kangaroos, were narrow feet, larger shinbones, and somewhat short thigh bones.

The study also highlighted Protemnodon's remarkable adaptability to a range of environments, from the arid regions of central Australia to the lush forests of Tasmania and New Guinea.

For reasons that are yet unknown to experts, Protemnodon, unlike wallaroos and grey kangaroos, became extinct on continental Australia some 40,000 years ago.

Future plans call for Kerr to conduct the first paleontological dig in Papua New Guinea in over 40 years. Kerr's mission is to find whole specimens in order to solve more puzzles regarding the evolution of the ancient giants.
Previous Post Next Post