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Australian Megafauna - What happened ?

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posted on May, 7 2003 @ 04:16 AM
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CANBERRA - Flesh-eating kangaroos, hippopotamus-sized wombats and flightless emu-like ducks weighing 1.5 tonnes freely roamed the vast Australian island continent about 100,000 years ago.


Living off eucalypt forests, grasslands and each other, these giant forebears of today's kangaroos and koalas co-existed for millions of years after the demise of the dinosaurs. But who or what destroyed the massive marsupials, horned turtles and monster ducks - the so-called megafauna which used to dominate ancient Australia - remains a mystery......

......If the dates are right, this questions earlier theories blaming the last ice age 21,000 years ago, or man hunting the animals to extinction after arriving about 60,000 years ago.

Smith says the new dates pointed to a third theory - the "slow burn" - in which the megafauna was gradually wiped out by man changing the landscape plus climate changes.

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Megafauna at the museum of Central Australia LINK

A GOOD PAGE WITH OTHER LINKS



The marsupial lion was Australia's largest carnivorous mammal.
A treasure trove of fossilized bones of prehistoric marsupial
lions, giant kangaroos and a wombat the size of a small car
has been unearthed in caves on the Nullarbor Plain.




posted on May, 7 2003 @ 08:08 PM
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man a 4 tonne koala would hurt if it fell out of the tree... DAMN THOSE DROP BEARS....

Chris



posted on May, 7 2003 @ 08:16 PM
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I think man killed them off one way or the other, i's a horrible tragedy that's been repeated for thousands upon thousands of years



posted on May, 7 2003 @ 08:31 PM
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Is there an open season for dropbears? And if so how much for a permit?



posted on May, 7 2003 @ 09:56 PM
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1.5 ton ducks?? I wonder if they had an echo...



posted on May, 27 2003 @ 11:20 AM
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The first complete skulls of a bizarre "horned" kangaroo are the star finds in the cache of fossils newly unearthed from caves in the Nullarbor Plain, Australia.


The skull of a juvenile shows the ridges (arrowed) from which the horn-like protusions would have grown (Image: Western Australian Museum)

John Long at the Western Australian Museum in Perth and colleagues first excavated the site in 2002. They found an astonishing collection of megafauna fossils, including partial skull fragments of a horned kangaroo, and the first complete skeletons of the thylacoleo, a giant marsupial lion.

The 2003 dig uncovered two complete horned kangaroo skulls and their partial skeletons, as well as two more thylacoleo skeletons and fossils of three species that the team believes are new to science.

"The kangaroo really is bizarre. It doesn't look like any other living or fossil kangaroo yet discovered," Long told New Scientist. "The bony projections right above the eyes stick out laterally, and it has a strange bulbous snout."


www.newscientist.com...



posted on May, 30 2003 @ 02:45 AM
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Ozzies, this is quite a place. Never ceases to amaze.



posted on May, 30 2003 @ 02:57 AM
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Yeah, Aussie is a fine place with unusual fauna and homo sapiens. Crocodile Hunter episode is on right now on TV where I'm at.

I just wish there was a more humane way of dealing with the poor koalas when they do their seasonal harbour bridge crossing. Surely they could be captured and transported rather than the senseless annual slaughter?



posted on May, 30 2003 @ 03:07 AM
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I guess sometimes nature must be let to run its course, though sometimes cruel..



posted on Jun, 2 2003 @ 05:23 AM
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What the hell. You've all gone Cuckoo






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