Predatory nature of kangaroos revealed

Updated on Sep 13, 2006 06:43 PM IST

They were the big, toothy, flesh-eating ones that galloped through Australia 20 mn years ago. Scientists say they were galloping kangaroos, they didn't hop.

HT Image
HT Image
None | ByIndo-Asian News Service, Sydney

The kangaroos that most tourists get to see on outback highways in Australia are not a patch on the big, toothy, flesh-eating ones that galloped on the continent 20 million years ago.

"They were galloping kangaroos, they didn't hop," said Australian scientist Mike Archer. "They were also far more muscley than the kangaroos we know, with sharp sabre-like incisors and powerful forelimbs to help rip and tear their prey."

Archer, dean of science at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) here, came to this conclusion after examining fossils found at Riversleigh, part of Queensland's Lawn Hill National Park.

Called Ekaltadeta, the killer kangaroos are just one of 20 previously unknown species that the UNSW team found in their Riversleigh diggings.

Archer said some of the animals discovered were related to others elsewhere in the world, but had evolved uniquely in Australia. The killer kangaroo did not resemble today's kangaroo, he said.

"This is pre-Skippy," Archer said. "You never would have thought of being afraid of a kangaroo, but this is a different period. These kangaroos would not only attack, but they would eat what they attacked."

Get Latest India Newsalong with Latest Newsand Top Headlinesfrom India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals