Tuesday, May 31, 2016

More Delightful Extinct Marsupial Mammals From Riversleigh World Heritage site in Australia

Riversleigh World Heritage site in Australia is a who's who of weird extinct animals. It is a limestone cave packed with huge number of skeletons, leftovers of poor creatures that have got accumulated over the course of millions of years.

Scientists have found fossils of the Thingodonta from its depths. Thingodonta is a woodpecker-like marsupial that gnawed bugs out of tree bark using its teeth. They have discovered proof of an extinct tusked kangaroo relative, with the scientific name Balbaroo fangaroo.

They've dug out the leftovers of drop crocs, ancient crocodiles that killed their prey by making them fall out of trees. And they came across the gigantic Dromornis, also called ‘Demon Duck of Doom’, which is 10 feet tall and is one of the world’s biggest birds.

Scientists now said that they have a tiny, but quite strange new creature to include in the collection. The latest creature is malleodectes mirabilis, or ‘wondrous hammer biter’, which is a ferret-sized cousin of present day Tasmanian devils that survived on escargot diet.

In a statement, University of New South Wales paleontologist Mike Archer, the main author of a study on the fossil appeared in Scientific Reports, said that Malleodectes mirabilis was an extremely weird mammal, odd in its own way just like a koala or kangaroo.

The creatures had massive, hammer-like premolars that let them eat entire snails, including shell and all. The researchers haven’t seen such characteristics in a mammal before.

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