Old Giants

Wombats And Kangaroos.

Archaeologists have uncovered teeth from the extinct Diprotodon, a giant wombat-like marsupial, at a swamp north of Melbourne. A team of archaeologists and palaeontologists from Victorian universities, traditional owners and Museum Victoria set up the dig at Lancefield Swamp.

Dr Jillian Garvey said the Diprotodon, the largest known marsupial species, weighed about one tonne.

“It was the biggest marsupial that ever lived and was about the size of a four-wheel drive or a rhino,” she said.

“Their molars are about an inch-and-a-half.”

The team also found teeth and limb bones from the Macropus Titan, a giant extinct kangaroo, and Aboriginal artefacts.

Previous digs at the site have uncovered skeletons of giant kangaroos, rhinoceros-sized wombat-like animals and marsupial lions, La Trobe University said.

“In the 1970s it was thought that some of the fossils may have been quite young, around the 25,000 year-old mark, but more recently some people have surmised they might be 50,000 to 80,000 years old,” Dr Garvey said.

There are five pits on the site, each about two-metres deep, and sediment collected will be analysed to reveal what the landscape looked like thousands of years ago.



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