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A Wombat cousin of the size of Bear roamed Australia 25 million years ago

A Wombat cousin of the size of Bear roamed Australia 25 million years ago

Modern Wombats had a powerful relative the size of a black bear, that used to roam the woodlands of Australia about 25 million years ago and possessed strong forelimbs and shovel-shaped hands which indicate that it was good at digging.

Key Points:

  • The name of the mammal is known as Mukupirna nambensis from the fossil of a partial skull and the skeleton uncovered at Pinpa Lake in the northeastern South Australia state.
  • The animal was a plant-eating animal and is among the earliest-known large-bodied marsupials of Australia.
  • The name Mukupirna stands for “big bones” in the Aboriginal language, according to the locals. The name offers information regarding the evolution of a marsupial group called vombatiformes which includes wombats and koalas.
  • The Mukupirna nambensis was a cousin of wombats with distinctive muscular and short-leg. The skeletal traits of the fossil of the mammal represent the beginnings of certain features of wombats like adaptations for digging, but it was not able to burrow like a wombat.
  • The mammal weighed around 330 pounds (150 kg), similar to an American black bear and was five times larger than the modern wombats.
  • The continent of Australia was dominated by marsupials that give birth to immature young which had to be carried and suckled in a pouch on the mother’s belly and not by placental mammals, that give birth to immature young to be carried and suckled in a pouch on the mother’s belly.

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