Australian megafauna is a term used to describe a number of comparatively large animal species in Australia. Most of these species became extinct during the Pleistocene (20,000-50,000 years before present). It is hypothesized that the arrival of Aborigines (around 48-60 thousand years ago) and their hunting and landscape-changing use of fire may have contributed to the disappearance of the megafauna. However, drought conditions during peak glaciation (about 18,000 years ago) are a significantly confounding factor. Recent studies (Roberts et al. 2001) appear to rule this out as the primary cause of extinction, but there is also some dispute about these studies (Wroe et al. 2002). Australia has experienced numerous climatic oscillations over the last 2 million years, some more extreme than the most recent glacial period, and the fact that the megafauna survived all of these prior climatic oscillations also rule out climate change as a cause of extinction. Compare with the Holocene extinction event. ...more on Wikipedia about "Australian megafauna"
The extinct Broad-faced Potoroo (Potorous platyops) was first collected in 1839 and described by John Gould in 1844, but even then it was rare and only a handful of specimens were ever collected, the last in 1875. Subfossil remains indicate that it originally had an extensive distribution from the semi-arid coastal districts of South Australia to the Western Australian coast, and possibly as far north as North West Cape. ...more on Wikipedia about "Broad-faced Potoroo"
The Crescent Nail-tailed Wallaby (Onychogalea lunata) was a wallaby that lived in the woodlands and scrubs of the west and centre of Australia. It had silky fur and, like other nail-tailed wallabies, had a horny spur at the tip of its tail. It was the size of a hare and was the smallest nail-tailed wallaby. When it was chased, it tended to seek refuge in a hollow tree. It entered at the bottom, clambered up and appeared at an opening high above. ...more on Wikipedia about "Crescent Nailtail Wallaby"
Diprotodonts were the largest marsupials that ever lived. They, along with many other members of a group of unusually species collectively called the Australian megafauna, existed from 1.6 million years ago until about 50,000 years ago (through most of the Pleistocene epoch). Diprotodon spp. fossils have been found in many places across Australia, including complete skulls and skeletons, as well as hair and foot impressions. More than one female skeleton has been found with a baby lying where it died while still in its mother's pouch. ...more on Wikipedia about "Diprotodont"
* Common name, Latin name, habitat, estimated date of extinction, probable main causes (listed, where possible, with the most significant causes first). ...more on Wikipedia about "Extinct Australian animals"
The Gould's Mouse (Pseudomys gouldii) lived in eastern inland Australia, and was named after John Gould's wife, Elizabeth. It was slightly smaller than a black rat, and quite social, living in small family groups that sheltered by day in a nest of soft, dry grass in a burrow. It usually dug burrows at a depth of 15 cm under bushes. Gould's mouse was common and widespread before European settlement, but disappeared rapidly after the 1840s, perhaps being exterminated by cats. Alternatively, it may have been out-competed by the introduced rats and mice, succumbed to introduced diseases or been affected by grazing stock and changed fire regimes. The last specimens were collected in 1856- 57, and it is presumed to be extinct. ...more on Wikipedia about "Gould's Mouse"
Koolasuchus was a large Cretaceous amphibian that lived on the continent of Australia. It was a carnivore whose diet included turtles, clams and crayfish. ...more on Wikipedia about "Koolasuchus"
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(Lesser Bilby) | species = M. leucura ...more on Wikipedia about "Lesser Bilby"
The Marsupial Lion (Thylacoleo carnifex) is an extinct species of carnivorous marsupial, that lived in Australia from about 24 million years ago, during the late Oligocene, and became extinct about 50,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, during the late Pleistocene epoch. ...more on Wikipedia about "Marsupial Lion"
Mekosuchus is a genus of an extinct Australasian crocodiles called mekosuchines. It was driven to extinction by the arrival of humans on the South Pacific islands where it lived. ...more on Wikipedia about "Mekosuchus"
The Paradise Parrot (Psephotus pulcherrimus) was an unusually colourful medium-sized parrot native to the grassy woodlands of the Queensland - New South Wales border area of Australia. Once moderately common within its fairly restricted range, the last live bird was seen in 1927. Extensive and sustained searches in the years since then have failed to produce any reliable evidence of it, and it is undoubtedly extinct. ...more on Wikipedia about "Paradise Parrot"
The Pig-footed Bandicoot (Chaeropus ecaudatus) was a small, mostly herbivorous bandicoot of the arid and semi-arid plains of inland Australia. ...more on Wikipedia about "Pig-footed Bandicoot"
Though dinosaur fossils are rare in Australia, dinosaurs found in the Victorian deposits include relics of the Jurassic era, such as a relative of Allosaurus; ornithomimosaurs, ostrich-like carnivorous dinosaurs; ankylosaurs; and members of the family Hypsilophodontidae, the commonest and most diverse group found thus far. The hypsilophodonts give us a big clue as to the habits of the dinosaurs that lived in these polar environments: they possessed large eyes, and casts of their brains show that they possessed enlarged optic lobes, which indicates acute night vision, which in turn suggests that the hypsilophodonts may have lived in the polar areas for most if not all of the year, including the weeks or months-long polar night. ...more on Wikipedia about "Polar dinosaurs in Australia"
The Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), also known as Tasmanian Tiger, Tassie ("tazzy") Tiger, or Tasmanian Wolf, was a large carnivorous marsupial native to Australia. Although only one of many Australian mammals to have become extinct following European settlement of the continent, it is the largest and by far the most famous. ...more on Wikipedia about "Thylacine"
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The toolache wallaby (Macropus greyi) is an extinct species of wallaby from South-western South Australia and South-western Victoria. Many people considered it to be the most elegant, graceful and swift species of kangaroo. It had fine fur with alternating bands of darker and lighter grey across the back. The bands differed in their colour and texture. The marking may have varied seasonally or between individuals. Its hopping consisted on two short hops, then a long one. ...more on Wikipedia about "Toolache wallaby"
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