Australia’s Ancient Giant Animals
Posted on 13 August 2020
Ever wondered what kinds of animals lived in Australia around 40,000 to 60,000 years ago? Researchers have recently discovered just who these ancient animals were!
Using fossil bones collected by the Barada Barna people (the traditional owners of a particular area in Queensland), a group of researchers worked out that lots of giant animals lived in the region. These included six-metre-long goannas, huge kangaroos and wallabies, a gargantuan wombat with bucked teeth, and lots of other curious creatures. The largest was the Diprotodon, a massive marsupial that weighed three tonnes (that’s even bigger than a rhino!).
Around this time, people were starting to live in Australia, too. While it was previously argued that these animals became extinct because they were being hunted by humans, the researchers involved in the study suggest it was actually due to alterations in the environment. There were more fires, as well as changes in how much water and food was available, which made it hard for the animals to survive.