Two years of hard effort brought results.  Scientists found a unique skeleton

A research team led by Tim Ziegler of Victoria Museum, Melbourne (Australia) conducted two years of research in a cave in the Gippsland Massif north of Buchan in Victoria. The goal was to extract and complete the skeleton of an extinct kangaroo species Simostinurus occidentalis – We read in website institution. The discovery can now be admired in a new exhibition at the Victoria Museum.

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Collecting research materials was not so easy in this case. Scientists had to squeeze through very narrow passages in the cave. Sometimes, you had to expel air from your lungs, reducing your chest volume, to move to the next room. However, the efforts were worth it, because researchers found an almost complete skeleton of a kangaroo.

The remains of the kangaroo were deep in the cave. They show an individual from an extinct evolutionary line

After analyzing the fossils, it was found that the remains belong to a type of kangaroo with a short snout. It was similar in size to today’s large kangaroos, but more massive in body structure – weighing up to 120 kg. These kangaroos mainly ate shrubs and herbaceous plants. Simostinurus occidentalis It was first discovered in 1910, but previous descriptions relied only on fragmentary skull bones and single teeth.

Read also: A student found the remains of a flying lizard of strange beauty. It was older than dinosaurs

Visualization of kangaroo species Simostinurus occidentalis /Source: Nobuo Tamura, Wikimedia Commons, CCP 3.0

The latest discovery can be analyzed from a broader angle. Based on the structure of the spine, it was found that the extinct kangaroo, instead of moving by jumping, simply… walked. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal remains in sediments where the kangaroo remains were found showed the skeleton to be at least 49,400 years old. So we are dealing with one of the last and most recent remains of an extinct species.

Read also: It remains that the experts were completely surprised. It’s hard to believe their origins

Simostinurus occidentalis They became extinct 46,000 years ago. At that time, there was a major extinction of the Australian megafauna. It is estimated that up to 85 percent of the continent’s large animal species have disappeared irretrievably. Theses of some scholars suggest that this may have been caused (at least in part) by a man whose first traces of presence in Australia date back this far.

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