Scientists trace the doom of ancient super-sized kangaroos, wombats and crocs

This artist’s impression shows what the megafauna scene could have looked like 40,000 years ago.

Queensland Museum

If you feel intimidated by Australia at all current crop of wild and wonderful animalsThen a visit to North Queensland 40,000 years ago would really shake your soul. Huge wombats, gorgeous kangaroos and 7 meter long crocodiles roamed the area.

Scientists now have a much better idea of ​​why this wonderful mega-fauna is no longer with us.

This photo from the Queensland archaeological site shows a marsupial bone.

Queensland Museum

Paleontologists from the The Queensland Museum and a group of Australian universities examined a treasure trove of fossils, including “the largest wombats and kangaroos in the world”. They tried to solve a riddle: what wiped out these great giants and were humans responsible for them?

The team released his Analysis in the journal Nature Communications On Monday.

Humanity can breathe a sigh of relief. “We cannot place people at this 40,000-year-old crime scene, we have no solid evidence, so we find no role for humans in the extinction of these megafauna species.” said the Queensland Museum paleontologist, Scott Hocknull, Lead author of the study, in a press release from the University of Wollongong.

Since humans were not the culprits, the researchers had to turn to other suspects. The death of the jumbo animals coincided with fires and habitat loss, a story that has some haunting similarities with today’s world.

“Undoubtedly, people would have hunted megafauna and ate it for dinner. But these new results show that people alone have not brought the megafauna to extinction. Climate and environmental changes were also a major driver.” said Anthony Dosseto of UOW, Co-author of the study.

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