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Temporal range: Pleistocene
Procoptodon goliah.jpg
Artist's impression of Procoptodon goliah
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Macropodidae
Subfamily: Sthenurinae
Genus: Procoptodon
Owen, 1873
  • P. browneorum (Merrilees, 1968)
  • P. cegsai (Pledge, 1992)
  • P. gilli (Merrilees, 1968)
  • P. goliah (Owen, 1845) (type species)
  • P. maddocki (Flannery & Hope, 1984)
  • P. mccoyi (Turnbull, Lundelius & Tedford, 1992)
  • P. oreas (De Vis, 1895)
  • P. otuel Owen, 1874
  • P. pusio Owen, 1874
  • P. rapha Owen, 1874
  • P. texasensis Archer, 1978
  • P. williamsi Prideaux, 2004

Procoptodon is a genus of giant short-faced kangaroo living in Australia during the Pleistocene epoch.[1]

P. goliah was the largest kangaroo known to have existed. It stood about 2 m (6.6 ft) tall.[2] They weighed about 200–240 kg (440–530 lb). Other members of the genus were smaller. Procoptodon gilli was the smallest of the genus, only about 1 m (3 ft 3 in) tall.

They were browsers, not grazers like kangaroos today. They ate leaves from trees and shrubs. Their weight makes it likely that they did not hop as their relatives do today.[3] A combination of climate change (cooling and shrinking of forest areas) would have reduced their natural habitat. Predation (hunting) by aboriginal humans probably happened.[4]

Saltbushes were their main food source, so Procoptodon goliah relied on free-standing water to help process its salt-laden diet.[4][5]

References[change | change source]

  1. Haaramo, M. (2004-12-20). "Mikko's Phylogeny Archive: Macropodidae - kenguroos". Archived from the original on 2007-03-31. Retrieved 2007-03-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. "Procoptodon goliah". Australian Museum. Retrieved 2012-03-22. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. Janis CM; Buttrill K. & Figueirido B. 2014. Locomotion in extinct giant kangaroos: were sthenurines hop-less monsters?". PLoS ONE. 9 (10): e109888. [1]
  4. 4.0 4.1 Prideaux G.J. et al 2009. Extinction implications of a chenopod browse diet for a giant Pleistocene kangaroo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106 (28): 11646–11650. doi:10.1073/pnas.0900956106. [2]
  5. Field, Judith and Wroe, Stephen. 2012.Aridity, faunal adaptations and Australian late Pleistocene extinctions[permanent dead link]. World Archaeology. '44,' 1, p 56–74.