A large koala-like species of wombat the size of a sheep would have graced treetops 15 million years ago.
Known as Nimbadons, the animals would have been very capable tree climbers, a skill that would have helped them to find food and to avoid predators on the ground. It is thought that they would have ascended trees in a similar style to modern koalas by hugging the trunk. Several skulls belonging to the species have been discovered at a cave in Riversleigh in northwestern Queensland.
"The Nimbadon fossil material is an incredibly rare and significant resource, not only because it is so exceptionally well-preserved, but because it represents individuals from a range of ages," said Karen Black from the University of New South Wales.
"Australia's treetops were home 15 million years ago to sheep-sized, 150-pound relatives of modern day wombats that looked much like koalas, scientists say."
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