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Giant kangaroos lived in Australia. The research results are surprising

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Scientists have identified three new species of prehistoric kangaroos. According to information published on Monday in the magazine “Megataxa”, these animals inhabited the areas Australia and New Guinea. As noted, research on kangaroos was very difficult until several complete fossilized skeletons were discovered. They made the discovery paleontologists working by the lake Callabonna in southern Australia.

Three new species of giant kangaroos. One measured over two meters

The analysis was carried out by a team led by Isaac Kerr from Flinders University. He determined that the kangaroos belonged to a group of so-called Protemnodons. According to their data, these kangaroos were much larger more stocky and muscular from representatives of these animals seen today.

Scientists found that the three newly discovered species had significantly different jumping patterns and inhabited different environmental areas. One species stood out in particular: it measured over two meters and weighed up to 170 kilograms. Despite his large mass, the structure of his lower limbs helped him jump quickly and long distances.

“This would help it move between food and water sources in an open, dry habitat in central Australia,” the head of the research team explained to CNN. The giant kangaroo got the Latin name Viator, referring to traveler, wanderer. The animals traveled in herds.

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An unusual kangaroo discovered in Australia. He walked on four legs

The remaining two kangaroos were given names Mamkurra i Dawsonae. The first one wasn't a “typical” kangaroo though, because he mainly moved on all fours. “Large but thick-boned and strong, the kangaroo probably moved quite slowly and was inefficient. It may have jumped infrequently, perhaps simply when startled,” the researchers said.

The least is known about the third kangaroo because scientists had the smallest resources of its fossils. However, it was probably not as distinctive as the previous two. He had jump at a medium pace and not be of exceptional size.

The description of the study emphasized that the possibilities of adapting these kangaroos to various natural environments turned out to be extremely interesting. Supposedly they were able to adapt much more than expected. Therefore, scientists hope that this initial research will lead to clear reasons why these animals became extinct.

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