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Strong Roo from Papua New Guinea

Scientists have described a brand new genus of strong, late Pleistocene prehistoric kangaroo from fossils present in Papua New Guinea. Evaluation means that it was not intently associated to kangaroos discovered as we speak in Australia.

Researchers from Flinders College examined two partial dentaries (decrease jaw bones) that had been beforehand assigned to the Protemnodon genus and named P. nombe. They recognized distinctive traits within the tooth and the form of the bones that led them to conclude that the fossils had been sufficiently completely different from different Protemnodon materials to be assigned their very own genus. The traditional kangaroo has been named Nombe nombe honouring the Nombe Rockshelter the place the fossils had been found.

Nombe nombe life reconstruction.
A life reconstruction of the prehistoric kangaroo Nombe nombe. Standing round 1.5 metres tall and weighing as much as 60 kilograms, the thick dentary and powerful tooth point out Nombe advanced to eat robust leaves within the dense jungle panorama. Image credit score: Peter Schouten.

A New Guinea/Australia Land Bridge

Through the Miocene Epoch, round 5-8 million years in the past, decrease international sea ranges permitted a land bridge between Australia and Papua New Guinea to kind. This led to a faunal interchange between the 2 areas. An historical type of Australian kangaroo migrated northwards and entered the territory now often called Papua New Guinea. When sea ranges rose and the Torres Strait was shaped, these historical kangaroos had been in a position to evolve in isolation away from their Australian ancestors.

Nombe nombe dentaries.
Nombe nombe decrease jaw bones. Holotype and referred specimen of Nombe nombe: holotype (PNG/82/40/23) partial proper dentary in (a) buccal/lateral view, (b) lingual/medial view and (c) decrease dentition in occlusal/dorsal view; (d) referred specimen (PM/82/40/19) partial left dentary in buccal/lateral view. Image credit score: Kerr and Prideaux.

Co-author of the scientific paper revealed within the Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, PhD pupil Isaac Kerr commented:

“The New Guinean fauna is fascinating, however only a few Australians have a lot of an thought of what’s really there.”

Co-author of the paper, Professor Gavin Prideaux (Flinders College), defined that excavations on the Nombe Rockshelter and elsewhere in central Papua New Guinea are offering palaeontologists with proof of a novel ecosystem on the island, a biota dominated by prehistoric marsupials that had been tailored to their mountainous, tropical atmosphere. Flinders College hopes to have the ability to undertake extra in depth fieldwork over the subsequent three years and they’re assured that these excavations will unearth new species.

Prehistoric Papua New Guinea
Life within the late Pleistocene on Papua New Guinea. The megafauna was dominated by extinct species of kangaroo and large four-legged marsupials known as diprotodontids, which in flip had been hunted by Thylacines. Image credit score: Peter Schouten.

The whole lot Dinosaur acknowledges the help of a media launch from Flinders College within the compilation of this text.

The scientific paper: “A brand new genus of fossil kangaroo from late Pleistocene New Guinea” by Isaac A. R. Kerr and Gavin J. Prideaux revealed within the Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia.



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