Finding out more about this great county’s past is always exciting. The idea of giant marsupials roaming the bushlands is the stuff of legend. Now there is another legend to add to that mix.
Fossil remains of a snail-eating marsupial have been unearthed in north-western Queensland and date the animal to about 15 million years ago. Like other marsupials, this one also had a distinctive feature. A massive, and incredibly powerful, premolar that would allow it to crush any snail shell.
A new family of weird snail-eating marsupials discovered in Australia! https://t.co/SvtKWtwcmu
— Dig It Up (@DigItUp_au) May 30, 2016
The University of New South Wales researchers made the discovery at the Riversleigh World Heritage fossil deposits where many other previously undiscovered species have been found. There are over 250 fossil-rich sites at Riversleigh, which have uncovered some of the most astonishing pieces of Australia’s past. The most famous fossil from the location was a completely intact 15 million-year-old Obdurodon dicksoni skull; which is a distant relative of the modern platypus.
Now we can add a marsupial that would have loved a good French restaurant. Bon appetite! If you would like to read the research paper on our new furry friend you can read it on Nature.com.
What do you think of our new marsupial? Are you a fan of eating snails (cooked of course)?