Giant Kangaroos once ruled The Outback

Once there was a time when everything was much bigger than they are now…does that mean we’re shrinking?

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Mega-marsupials once roamed Australia

CANBERRA, Australia (Reuters) — Marsupial lions, kangaroos as tall as trucks and wombats the size of a rhinoceros roamed Australia’s outback before being killed off by fires lit by arriving humans, scientists said on Thursday.

The giant animals lived in the arid Nullarbor desert around 400,000 years ago, but died out around 50,000 years ago, relatively shortly after the arrival of human settlers, according to new fossil skeletons found in caves.

Fossilized remains were uncovered almost intact in a series of three deep caves in the center of the Nullarbor desert — east of the west coast city of Perth — in October 2002.

“Three subsequent expeditions produced hundreds of fossils so well-preserved that they constitute a veritable “Rosetta Stone for Ice-Age Australia”, expedition leader Gavin Prideaux said of the find, detailed in the latest edition of the journal Nature.

The team discovered 69 species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including eight new species of kangaroo, some standing up to 9 feet tall.

Protected from wind and rain, and undisturbed due to their remote location, the remains of the mega-beasts are in near-perfect condition, including the first-ever complete skeleton of a marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex.

“Unwary animals bounding around in the case of kangaroos, or running around in the case of marsupial lions and wombats, fell down these holes, as presumably most were nocturnal. It’s very difficult to see a small opening on a flat surface at night,” Prideaux said.

Research into the fossils challenges recent claims that Australia’s megafauna were killed off by climate change, pointing the finger instead at fires, probably lit by the first human settlers who transformed the fragile landscape.

The lands inhabited by the megafauna once supported flowers, tall trees and shrubs. But isotopes extracted from skeletal enamels show the climate was hot and arid, similar to today.

The plants, the scientists said, were highly sensitive to so-called fire-stick farming, where lands were deliberately cleared by fires to encourage re-growth.

“Australian megafauna could take all that nature could throw at them for half-a-million years, without succumbing,” said Richard Roberts, a geochronologist at the University of Wollongong.

“It was only when people arrived that they vanished.”

About Cos 5082 Articles
Marcos Cosme has had a love for writing and film since he was little. By combing those two passions, he started studying film early on in Middle School and High School writing screenplays and working in his High School television production studio. When it came time for college he decided to pursue a bachelors in Electronic Film making from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Marcos continues to be an avid watcher of movies and scripted television series, although he does, on occasion, watch some reality shows. He has watched hundreds of movies during the course of his life and has worked in various roles on small independent film projects, including writing, producing and directing. In his spare time Marcos loves to write screenplays, read books, contribute articles, blogs and reviews on various topics including (but obviously not limited to) movies, television, books, and wrestling; just to name a few. He is a Rabbit aficionado (he has a dwarf rabbit named Peanut-who is the logo of Cos' Blog) and is a Golden Retriever connoisseur (he has two Goldens named Cassie and Chloe). He also love to spend time with his wife and as of July of 2015 they welcomed their first child, Miles, who can occasionally be seen on the blog.


  1. Hi Guys,

    Just to let you know, I have some Australian Megafauna fossils I’d be happy to trade or sell to those with interest in the area.

    I have 16 pieces of Procoptodon (giant kangaroo) bones of varying sizes, that I was allowed to keep after an expedition by the state museum.

    I also have an enormous tooth, about a foot long and still showing its original enamel, and a couple of skull fragments from a Diprotodon (giant wombat) that I found myself on a geology field trip.

    I have documentation authorising the export of these fossils outside Australia.

    Not meaning to spam, its just that I’m aware this kind of material is very rarely available and I’d like to see the specimens go to an appreciative home ;]

    I can be contacted at for photos and further information



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