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Outback dig reveals ‘monster’ marsupial

Updated July 4, 2011 14:18:00

Palaeontologists say they have unearthed the remains of a prehistoric marsupial at a dig at Burketown in north-west Queensland’s Gulf of Carpentaria region.

Scientists are hoping to piece together the world’s most complete diprotodon skeleton ever sourced from a single specimen.

A diprotodon is described as a giant, wombat-like creature.

Speaking from Floraville Station, professor Michael Archer says it is a significant discovery.

“What we’re seeing here is the biggest marsupial that ever lived in the world – a three-tonne monster that was walking around this land somewhere between 50,000 and two million years ago,” he said.

“This was its last stand.”

Professor Archer says it is unusual for all the creature’s bones to be found in one place.

“All the bones are not necessarily in their right position but probably the whole skeleton of this giant is in this one spot where it fell maybe 50,000 years ago,” he said.

“Just one little bone was sticking out.”

First posted July 4, 2011 12:27:00

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