Huge koalas lived in ancient trees

Sunday, May 6, 2012 - 08:01 in Paleontology & Archaeology

The ancient animals, known as Nimbadon, lived 15 million years ago, weighed 70 kg and looked strikingly similar to koalas, said the researchers. Image: Erik Veland/Wikimedia Sheep-sized ancient relatives of modern-day wombats lived in Australia’s treetops 15 million years ago, according to new research led by Dr Karen Black from the University of New South Wales.The 70 kg marsupials – known as Nimbadon - were strikingly similar to koalas, says Dr Black, winner of the Australian Academy of Science’s 2012 Dorothy Hill Award for female researchers in the Earth sciences. Dr Black discussed her preliminary findings as part of her presentation on 3 May 2012 at the Academy’s annual Science at the Shine Dome event.“Nimbadon was a highly capable, habitual climber and its specialised anatomy suggests it may have adopted a trunk-hugging method of climbing similar to the living koala,” says Dr Black, whose collaborators are Dr Aaron Camens (Flinders University) and...

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