Giant Wombat Fossil Found

Wombat Fossil - The fossil was discovered in Queensland, Australia. Typically, today’s modern wombat grows to an average size of 39 inches in length and weight between 44 and 77 pounds. The one would have lived about 2.5 million years ago and was the size of an SUV.

Paleontologists say that nearly all of the bones are intact. Speaking about the discovery, biologist Mike Archer of the University of New South Wales stated, “If one tried to visualize what this thing looked like you’d have to sort of think of a gigantic wombat on steroids.” The diprotodon is believed to be the largest marsupial, an animal that carries its young in a pouch, ever to have walked the Earth, weighing in at some 3 tons and growing up to 14 feet long.

The giant would have gone extinct about 50,000 years ago, right around when humans started to appear. Researchers say they believe the discovery will help fill in missing details about not just the diprotodon but about early Aboriginal culture, as the two are thought to have co-existed. Those early humans could have found the giant a challenge if it was anything like its modern-day cousin. Today’s wombats have sharp rodent-like teeth and have been known to bite, charge and bowl over anyone confronting it.

Diprotodon superficially resembled a rhinoceros 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 and its pouch opening faced backwards where it carried its young like modern wombats. Footprints of its feet have been found showing a covering of hair which indicates it had a coat similar to a modern wombat.

By: Pat Prescott
Published: Jul 7, 2021
Stay ConnectedSocial

FacebookAdd our Facebook page to receive updates and participate in new tools and features. It's a great way to stay connected with all the latest news.

TwitterReceive daily bite-sized updates by following us on Twitter. Receive Tweet-sized 140-character updates on your mobile phone device or PC.

RSSSubscribe to our daily RSS feed to get the latest national news stories. We offer a feed for every topic including business, entertainment, health, politics, science & technology, travel and more.

Science NewsScience