Search results for "Naracoorte"

  • Fossils in Naracoorte, SA

    Pleistocene fossil vertebrate deposits of Victoria Fossil Cave at Naracoorte are considered to be Australia's largest & best preserved.

  • A cave at Naracoorte


  • Diprotodon optatum


  • Thylacoleo carnifex


  • Diprotodon optatum

    The massive Diprotodon optatum, from the Pleistocene of Australia, was the largest marsupial known and the last of the extinct, herbivorous diprotodontids. Diprotodon was the first fossil mammal named from Australia (Owen 1838) and one of the most well known of the megafauna. It was widespread across Australia when the first indigenous people arrived, co-existing with them for thousands of years before becoming extinct about 25,000 years ago.

  • Palorchestes azeal

    Palorchestes azael was an unusual marsupial herbivore with retracted nasal bones on the skull, suggesting that it may have had a small trunk like that of tapirs. Palorchestes also had powerful forelimbs and large, compressed claws that it may have used to pull up shrubs or tear at the bark of trees. It was a browser, probably feeding on leaves or roots.

  • Genyornis newtoni

    Genyornis newtoni was the last of the large, flightless mihirungs ('thunder birds') endemic to Australia. It was a heavily built bird over 2 metres tall, with tiny wings and massive hind legs. Fossils of Genyornis have been found in association with human artifacts, including cave paintings and carved footprints, and Genyornis must have co-existed with humans for a considerable amount of time (at least 15,000 years).

  • Megalania prisca

    Megalania prisca, the largest terrestrial lizard known, was a giant goanna (monitor lizard). First described from the Darling Downs in Queensland by Sir Richard Owen in 1859, Megalania lived in a variety of eastern Australian Pleistocene habitats - open forests, woodlands and perhaps grasslands. Megalania would have been a formidable reptilian predator like its relative the Komodo Dragon of Indonesia, and may have eaten large mammals, snakes, other reptiles and birds.

  • Thylacoleo carnifex

    Thylacoleo carnifex, the largest carnivorous Australian mammal known, may have hunted other Pleistocene megafauna like the giant Diprotodon. Thylacoleo was one of the first fossil mammals described from Australia, discovered not long after European settlement. It may have been an ambush predator or scavenger, and had enormous slicing cheek teeth, large stabbing incisor teeth (replacements for the canine teeth of other carnivorous mammals) and a huge thumb claw that may have been used to disembowel its prey.

  • Procoptodon goliah

    The Pleistocene kangaroo Procoptodon goliah, the most extreme of the short-faced kangaroos, was the largest and most heavily built kangaroo known. It had an unusually short, flat face and forwardly-directed eyes, with a single large toe on each foot (reduced from the more normal count of four). Each hand had two long, clawed fingers that would have been used to bring leafy branches within reach.