Biology Ancient Australia (Extinct Megafauna, Dinosaurs etc)

Werewolf

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Not quite Australia, but across the Tasman Sea: fossils of a giant 1m tall, 7kg parrot discovered in New Zealand :eek:

Article doesn't say what these giant parrots fed on. IT does suggest that these birds used their beaks to climb trees. One would think that there was a huge source of food - large nuts and fruit. Once the beak becomes very large eating small seeds becomes a problem. (Giantism has many drivers and has been seen occuring on islands even today)

Polly wanna cracker - Heracles can have anything it wants.
 

CD Xbow

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Not quite Australia, but across the Tasman Sea: fossils of a giant 1m tall, 7kg parrot discovered in New Zealand :eek:

Your parrot will become breakfast to Penguinzilla - https://www.livescience.com/newfound-ancient-monster-penguin.html
 

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CD Xbow

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Recent article about Palorchestes https://phys.org/news/2019-09-ancient-australia-home-strange-marsupial.htm describing the limbs. The author believes the forelimbs were disproportionately large with elbow fixed at 100 degrees. I would like to know how many elbow specimens they have, if it's only one there is a possibility it is diseased. She speculates the large claws and odd fore limbs made it able to slash tough undergrowth. Other possibility's include Termite mounds or even tree trunks. Its an animal with rone of the most extraordinary skulls, ever. This is Peter Trusler's drawing, done as part of his Phd reconstructing the head of the animal.

pal-skull.jpg


Peter reconstructed the head like this:
palorchestes-head.jpg

Many reconstructions give it a trunk much like a Tapir. This is because of the incredible size of the size of the nasal cavities. Peter says, (and who am I to argue with a man who did his PhD reconstructing the beasty) that there is none of the usual boney evidence of a trunk,eg lines of attachment or vascular foraminae (holes) that you would expect if there were a trunk.













 

CD Xbow

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Abasi

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Roylion

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Very possible.

Populations of homo sapiens migrated to the Levant and to Europe between 130,000 and 115,000 years ago, and possibly in earlier waves as early as 185,000 years ago. An article by Steven R. Holen in April 2017 proposes that a 130,000-year-old archaeological site in southern California, USA is the earliest evidence of human occupation of North America.

Both sites could be either modern human or some other archaic human species such as Denisovans. DNA sequencing has concluded that Denisovan and modern humans diverged to about 800,000 years ago. David Reich of Harvard University and Mark Stoneking of the Planck Institute team found genetic evidence that Denisovan ancestry is shared also by Australian Aboriginies, Melanesians and smaller scattered groups of people in Southeast Asia.
 

CD Xbow

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Very possible.

Populations of homo sapiens migrated to the Levant and to Europe between 130,000 and 115,000 years ago, and possibly in earlier waves as early as 185,000 years ago. An article by Steven R. Holen in April 2017 proposes that a 130,000-year-old archaeological site in southern California, USA is the earliest evidence of human occupation of North America.

Both sites could be either modern human or some other archaic human species such as Denisovans. DNA sequencing has concluded that Denisovan and modern humans diverged to about 800,000 years ago. David Reich of Harvard University and Mark Stoneking of the Planck Institute team found genetic evidence that Denisovan ancestry is shared also by Australian Aboriginies, Melanesians and smaller scattered groups of people in Southeast Asia.
Mitochondrial DNA evidence suggests the ancestors of the aboriginals left Africa about 85-80000 years ago. This is considered fairly strong evidence and is consistent with an arrival in Oz about 75000 years ago. If these sites turn out to be kosher with their dating then they must belong to an earlier group of homos. The evidence at the sites is pretty soft, so there is a good chance it is wrong. For what it's worth, there are aboriginal myths relating to interacting with 'little people' and larger folks as well, perhaps one or both of these were here first. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

I don't think many scientists accept Steven Holen's claims. The dating is correct, it's just that the broken bones and stones don't provide convincing evidence of human actions, perhaps a bit like these sites.
 

Snake_Baker

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CD Xbow

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View attachment 846159
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Given it's rice sized, it's not quite megafauna but it's certainly the oldest possible extinct Australian fauna. Paleo's have been looking for the critters that made the burrows in the Ediacaran sediments for a long time, believing they were likely to be bilaterians, and the origin of everything from worms, insects, vertebrates and Andrew Bolt. The SA museum has a fabulous display of Ediacaran fauna, you can get right up close to the specimens, recommend it to all. These critters could be our great great great (x few billion greats) parents. Amazing.
 
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CD Xbow

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The Covid 19 lockdown has had me hunting around for some paleo books to read and I found Tom & Pat Rich's 'classic' work from 1991 - Vertebrate palaeontology of Australasia - you can download it from here https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/60647#/summary - click on the PDF icon on the right. It's one for the scholars, but has a lot of source materials (eg the bones) but also the Koonawarra feather assemblage discussed in earlier posts, and quite a few nice illustrations. Peter's reconstruction of megalania is on page 756, including the skeletal reconstruction upon which he based the work. A colour version of the image is here - https://phys.org/news/2016-01-ancient-extinction-giant-australian-bird.html - the article about evidence for cooking of Genyornis eggs is interesting in itself, but I believe incorrect in it's assertion that these were Genyornis eggs.
 

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