Mega Fauna Essay

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Diprotodon - (Diprotodon Optatum) Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Diprotodontia Family: Diprotodontidae Genus: Diprotodon The Diprotodon, meaning two front teeth, was the largest ever marsupial. The finding of fossils in Lake Callabonna in South Australia indicates that they became extinct around 40,000 to 25,000 years ago. It was 3m long from head to tail and stood 2m tall from feet to shoulder and weighed something in the region of 2500kg. Inhabiting dense forests, opens woodland and general scrub he Diprotodon could adapt to many environments. They were well adapted to eating plants as they had sharp front incisors and claws, which developed and grew endlessly throughout life, were well suited to chewing off pieces of vegetation and digging up roots. Furthermore it is believed that the Diprotodon had an exceptionally long hairy coat, which would have served to protect the animal from the extreme temperatures it faced. The Diprotodon was considered to be low in the trophic level. It generally only ate green leafy vegetation and certain roots. Since there position on the trophic level the Diprotodon had many predators including the Marsupial Lion and a Megalania. Giant Short-faced Kangaroo - (Procoptodon goliah) Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Diprotodontia Family: Macropodidae Genus: Procoptodon The Giant Short-faced Kangaroo was the world’s largest kangaroo. It stood 3m tall and weighed approximately 200kg. Fossils found at the Naracoorte caves establish that the genus died out approximately 50,000 years ago. The kangaroo is supposed to have unusual feet somewhat like a horse. These feet allowed it move quickly through the open forests and plains where it lived to escape predators. In addition its skull is a sign of the powerful muscles in its jaws provided

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