Australian megafauna, illustration

Australian megafauna, illustration

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Credit: MICHAEL LONG/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Australian megafauna, illustration. From top to bottom, these extinct prehistoric marsupials are: Diprotodon, Palorchestes and Zygomaturus. All lived in Australia during the Pleistocene (2.5 million to 11,000 years ago), and all were herbivorous browsers and foragers. Diprotodon was the largest ever marsupial, 3 metres long and 2 metres tall at the shoulder. Palorchestes was about 2.5 metres in length and had a short proboscis. Zygomaturus was also about 2.5 metres long, with raised nostrils similar to those of a hippopotamus.

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