The skull of a cow sized , giant wombat or Diprotodon that died probably only 10,000 years ago near Coonabarabran in northern NSW.
Note the molars for grinding plant material and the lack of canines.
It was discovered in 1843 when James Mayne, a well-digger, found giant bones from very large extinct animals now known as megafauna. Along with many other megafauna discoveries around the world at about the same time, the finding of fossils from Victoria provoked two questions that researchers are still trying to answer. What caused the extinction of these strange animals, and when did they die out?
Excavations in February 2004.
The high water table at Lancefield prevented further investigation in the nineteenth century, and large-scale excavations using pumps only began in the 1970s. These excavations uncovered thousands of bones of giant kangaroos and other animals. Radiocarbon dates on charcoal found underneath the bones suggested that the bones were less than 26,000 years old. Two stone artefacts were found amongst the densely packed bones. These findings suggested that the animals died during the last ice age, 30-19,000 years ago, when the climate was cold and dry. This was well after Aboriginal people had arrived in the area, more than
40-45,000 years ago. .
The Wombat most closely related to the Diprotodon
Wombats are Australian marsupials; they are short-legged, muscular quadrupeds, approximately 1 metre (39 in) in length with a very short tail.
Referenced from: Archaeology at Lancefield SwampReport of the February 2004 excavations Joe Dortch,
Department of Archaeology, University of Sydney
Images courtesy:: Archaeology at Lancefield Swamp Report of the February 2004 excavations Joe Dortch, Department of Archaeology, University of Sydney. Illustrations courtsy, Anne Musser.
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