Animals wombat

Published on July 7th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

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Wombat Size of Rhinocerous Unearthed in Australia

July 7th, 2011 by

 
Holy Cow! Or holy wombat, perhaps. The fossils of a wombat the size of a rhinocerous have been unearthed in Australia.

cute wombat

Some stats on this wombat, some of which might make your jaw drop:

  1. weighed approximately 3 tons, similar size to a rhinocerous or car
  2. 6 feet, 6 inches tall; 11 feet, 6 inches long
  3. largest marsupial known to have roamed the Earth
  4. lived ~2 million to 50,000 years ago (yes, crossed paths with humans, but quickly went extinct after indigenous tribes arrived in Australia, but human role in their extinction still not clear)

“They basically looked a lot like a wombat, a very big beefed-up wombat, much bigger than obviously anything that’s around today,” said Sue Hand, a professor on the team that made the discovery.

huge wombat

Killed off by humans or climate change? It’s unclear still, but we may get some good clues about the answer from this discovery.

“There’s been a lot of debate about what killed the megafauna and it’s quite a hot topic in paleontology…. It will be very interesting to see its age and if people came in first, for instance, from the north. There could be some very interesting data to be extracted from this find.”

wombat eating

Living Wombats

A little info on the wombats alive today, from Wikipedia:

Wombats are Australian marsupials; they are short-legged, muscular quadrupeds, approximately 1 metre (39 in) in length with a short, stubby tail. They are adaptable in their habitat tolerances, and are found in forested, mountainous, and heathland areas of south-eastern Australia, including Tasmania, as well as an isolated patch of about 300 ha in Epping Forest National Park[2] in central Queensland. The name wombat comes from the aborigines[3] that originally inhabited the Sydney area.

Interesting creatures. Hard to imagine what a humongous like the skeleton of the one just found in Australia would look like in real life.

Images of modern-day wombats from JJ HarrisonCookaaPanBK

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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