Palaeontologists digging in northern Australia claim to have found the fossilised remains of the ultimate fighting marsupial – a flesh eating “killer kangaroo” that had wolf-like fangs and once walked the earth more than 10 million years ago.
The team from the University of New South Wales made the discovery along with 20 other previously unknown species in northern Queensland, including the carnivorous kangaroo, known as Ekaltadeta, and a large predatory bird described by the team as a “demon duck of doom”.
The vertebrate palaeontologist Sue Hand said the meat-eaters would have looked remarkably different from kangaroos around today. “These things had slicing crests that could have crunched through bone and sliced off flesh,” she said.
Professor Michael Archer, another team member, described the remains of two kangaroo species, one with wolf-like fangs and another with long forearms that was unable to hop like a modern kangaroo. “Because they didn’t hop, these were galloping kangaroos, with big, powerful forelimbs. Some of them had long canines like wolves,” he said.
The killer marsupial and duck of doom flourished in the Miocene epoch.