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Giant wombat's jawbone found

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#1    Owlscrying


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Posted 28 July 2007 - 06:40 AM

July 27
Sydney, Australia - A jawbone of a giant wombat that lived at least 20,000 years ago has been found at Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.

A tour guide was doing his rounds at the caves when he found the large bone from a diprotodon, the largest known marsupial.

The long extinct diprotodon species was 2m tall and 3m long - about as large as a hippopotamus - and could have weighed as much as three tonnes.

The fossilised bone is more than 30cm long and between 20,000 and 40,000 years old.

If it is less than 40,000 years old, then it is the youngest authenticated diprotodon jawbone because most people seem to think that diprotodon and the other giant animals of Australia became extinct earlier than this, about 45,000 years ago.

If there's one jaw, there has to be more material and it could be on the edge of the beginning of a very large deposit and there are some really fascinating megafauna fossils in this cave.

It is the first time remains of a diprotodon have been found in the Blue Mountains region.


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