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Digging up new species of Australia and New Guinea's giant fossil kangaroos

Still Waters

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Paleontologists from Flinders University have described three unusual new species of giant fossil kangaroo from Australia and New Guinea, finding them more diverse in shape, range and hopping method than previously thought.

The three new species are of the extinct genus Protemnodon, which lived from around 5 million to 40,000 years ago—with one about double the size of the largest red kangaroo living today.

The research follows the discovery of multiple complete fossil kangaroo skeletons from Lake Callabonna in arid South Australia in 2013, 2018 and 2019. These extraordinary fossils allowed lead researcher Dr. Isaac Kerr, then a Ph.D. student, to unpick a nearly 150-year-long puzzle around the identities of the species of Protemnodon.





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Can you imagine the outcome if the Red Kangaroo was twice the size of the one shown above?

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