Thursday, June 05, 2008

New Fossil Kangaroo

A new fossil kangaroo from the Oligocene-Miocene Etadunna Formation of Ngama Quarry, Lake Palankarinna, South Australia. 2008. B. P. Kear and N. S. Pledge. Australian Journal of Science 55: 331-339.

From Perth Now:

Newly discovered Ngamaroo archeri, described byhe fossils Ben Kear and his colleague Neville Pledge of the South Australian Museum reveal an animal which was the size of a modern-day wallaby, which moved like a modern kangaroo.

The rare find, unearthed in 1981 near the Lake Eyre Basin in central Australia, suggests the incredible resilience and flexibility of the kangaroo in the face of constant environmental change, researchers say.

New analysis techniques using more comprehensive data has revealed the kangaroo’s evolutionary history, and scientists say the kangaroo’s success can be attributed to its ability to hop.

“Compared to how much other Australian mammal groups have changed in that time span, it shows that our hopping kangaroo really is a great survivor,” Dr Kear said.