Giant marsupial skull provides new clues about megafauna in Australia

Sydney (Australia), 13 December. Description of the complete skull of a giant marsupial found at the beginning of this century in northeastern Australia will give new clues about the megafauna that inhabited the country about 80,000 years ago, long before the arrival of the indigenous people to this country, academic sources reported on Tuesday.

The skull – which was discovered in a cave near the rural town of Rockhampton – belonged to a ramsai, a “real” prehistoric giant animal, as the excavations that followed this discovery and the scientific analysis of these fossils identified.

This skull, which was recently described by the team led by Julien Lowes, a palaeontologist at Griffith University, will allow us to reconstruct what this creature looked like, learn where and when it lived, and how giant wombats evolved in Australia, according to a study. release from the Australian educational institution.

Although the diprotodont of Australia is erroneously known as the “giant wombat,” another extinct marsupial, the Ramsay, an animal that weighed around a hundred kilograms, is the animal truly associated with modern wombats, the source said.

“The diprotodont belongs to a completely different family, which is the equivalent of saying the hippopotamus is a giant pig,” the Australian paleontologist explained in the Griffith University statement.

The study, published in the journal Paleontology Papers In Palaeontology, indicated that tokens had extensive cranial sinuses, something not previously reported in wombats.

“The wombat had a large, round skull to attach strong, defined masticatory muscles[plus]a ‘premaxillary spine,’ which indicates that it had a large, fleshy snout,” Louise said.

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The scientists also revealed that these “giant wombats” developed large bodies early in their development and later began to eat different types of grass.

“We have also dated this species to around 80,000 years ago. This is the earliest date for this species and it predates the arrival of humans in Australia (about 60,000 years ago), although we still don’t know exactly when and why this species became extinct,” said the expert. . EFE

wat / esj / amd

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