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Temporal range: Pleistocene
Diprotodon australis skull.JPG
Scientific classification

Owen, 1838

Diprotodon was the largest marsupial that ever lived. it existed from about 1.6 million years ago until extinction some 46,000 years ago.[1] So it lived through most of the Pleistocene epoch.

Diprotodon looked like a rhino without a horn. Its feet turned inwards like a wombat’s, giving it a pigeon-toed appearance. It had strong claws on the front feet, so it may have been able to dig up roots to eat. Footprints of its hairy feet have been found, so we know it had fur like a horse rather than being bald like a rhino. Diprotodon is found in sites all over Australia, but not in Tasmania.

Female skeletons have been found with babies located where the mother's pouch would have been.[2] The largest specimens were hippopotamus-sized: about 3 metres (9.8 ft) from nose to tail, standing 2 metres (6.6 ft) tall at the shoulder and weighing about 2,790 kilograms (6,150 lb).[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Roberts R.G. et al 2002. "New ages for the last Australian megafauna: continent-wide extinction about 46,000 years ago" (PDF). Science. 292 (5523): 1888–1892. Bibcode:2001Sci...292.1888R. doi:10.1126/science.1060264. PMID 11397939. Retrieved 26 August 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. "Science & Nature: Animals: Diprotodon". Official website. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). July 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. Ice age marsupial topped three tons, scientists say. Retrieved 17 September 2003.

Other websites[change | change source]