The extinct short-faced kangaroo, Simosthenurus occidentalis.
Scientists have finally managed to extract DNA from two species of Australia's extinct giant kangaroos - a giant short-faced kangaroo (Simosthenurus occidentalis) and a giant wallaby (Protemnodon anak) - that roamed Australia over 40,000 years ago.
"The ancient DNA reveals that extinct giant wallabies are very close relatives of large living kangaroos, such as the red and western grey kangaroos," says lead author Dr Bastien Llamas.
"Their skeletons had suggested they were quite primitive macropods a group that includes kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons and quokkas - but now we can place giant wallaby much higher up the kangaroo family tree." PR