Australian wombat news


This video from Australia says about itself:

George the Wombat Begins New Life in the Wild | Nat Geo Wild

11 February 2018

A famous orphaned wombat will move into new home where he’ll be closer to the wild.

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Marsupial fossil discovery in Australia


This 2016 video is called Extinct and Extant Australian Species.

From Palaeontologia Electronica:

Miminipossum notioplanetes, a Miocene forest-dwelling phalangeridan (Marsupialia; Diprotodontia) from northern and central Australia

ABSTRACT

Miminipossum notioplanetes represents a new Early/Middle Miocene family (Miminipossumidae) of phalangeridan possums recovered from the Two Trees Local Fauna from the Riversleigh World Heritage area in northwestern Queensland and the Kutjamarpu Local Fauna of the Tirari Desert in northern South Australia. Because of widespread convergence in key features of P3 and M1 among phalangeridan families, the interfamilial relationships of Miminipossumidae are uncertain. The age of the Kutjamarpu Local Fauna has been in doubt with estimates ranging from Late Oligocene to Middle Miocene. The new taxon raises to 15 the number of taxa in the Kutjamarpu Local Fauna that are shared with both Riversleigh’s Faunal Zone B (Early Miocene) and Riversleigh’s Faunal Zone C (Middle Miocene) assemblages.

Although there is relatively little biocorrelative support for the estimate of a Late Oligocene age, doubt remains about whether the age is more likely to be Early or Middle Miocene. In terms of palaeoenvironmental implications, because both Riversleigh’s Early and Middle Mio-cene assemblages have been concluded to have accumulated in temperate, wet, species-rich lowland forests, the same or similar Early/Middle Miocene palaeoenvironments may well have extended into central Australia at the time when the Kutjamarpu assemblage was accumulating.

Feeding kangaroos in Australia


This 5 January 2018 video says about itself:

On this episode of Breaking Trail, Coyote joins a troop of Kangaroos for FEEDING TIME! That’s right, one of many things you can do in Australia is feed the Roos! Not only are they super friendly and adorable but they will also eat right out of the palm of your hand if you can believe it! Get ready to meet some hungry Kangaroos!

Wombat in Australia


This video says about itself:

On this episode of Breaking Trail, Coyote meets Wanda the Wombat!

Wombats are marsupials and can be found throughout a wide range of Australia. However. unlike their cousins the Koala and the Kangaroo they are primarily nocturnal…

So in this special animal encounter Coyote gets to meet one sleepy Wombat who is just about to wake up from her daytime slumber. Some might say you DON’T WAKE the WOMBAT, but Coyote feels that with a few carrots and some leafy greens as a breakfast offering, he’s got the inside track to being the Wombat’s best friend! Get ready to meet Wanda!

Ancient South American carnivorous marsupial relatives, new research


This video says about itself:

30 Decamber 2017

Thylacosmilus is an extinct genus of saber-toothed metatherian that inhabited South America from the Late Miocene to Pliocene epochs.

Though Thylacosmilus is one of several predatory mammal genera typically called “saber-toothed cats“, it was not a felid placentalian, but a sparassodont, a group closely related to marsupials, and only superficially resembled other saber-toothed mammals due to convergent evolution.

Remains of this animal have been found primarily in Catamarca, Entre Ríos, and La Pampa Provinces in northern Argentina.

Thylacosmilus was described and named by Elmer S. Riggs in 1933. He named two species, T. atrox and T. lentis.

Thylacosmilus had large, saber-like canines. The roots of these canines grew throughout the animal’s life, growing in an arc up the maxilla and above the orbits. Its cervical vertebrae were very strong and to some extent resembled the vertebrae of Machairodontinae.

Body mass estimates of Thylacosmilus suggest this animal weighed between 80 to 120 kilograms (180 to 260 lb), and one estimate suggesting up to 150 kg (330 lb), about the same size as a modern jaguar.

From Proceedings of the Royal Society B:

Diversity and disparity of sparassodonts (Metatheria) reveal non-analogue nature of ancient South American mammalian carnivore guilds

3 January 2018

Abstract

This study investigates whether terrestrial mammalian carnivore guilds of ancient South America, which developed in relative isolation, were similar to those of other continents.

We do so through analyses of clade diversification, ecomorphology and guild structure in the Sparassodonta, metatherians that were the predominant mammalian carnivores of pre-Pleistocene South America. Body mass and 16 characters of the dentition are used to quantify morphological diversity (disparity) in sparassodonts and to compare them to extant marsupial and placental carnivores and extinct North American carnivoramorphans.

We also compare trophic diversity of the Early Miocene terrestrial carnivore guild of Santa Cruz, Argentina to that of 14 modern and fossil guilds from other continents.

We find that sparassodonts had comparatively low ecomorphological disparity throughout their history and that South American carnivore palaeoguilds, as represented by that of Santa Cruz, Argentina, were unlike modern or fossil carnivore guilds of other continents in their lack of mesocarnivores and hypocarnivores. Our results add to a growing body of evidence highlighting non-analogue aspects of extinct South American mammals and illustrate the dramatic effects that historical contingency can have on the evolution of mammalian palaeocommunities.

Brushtail possum in Australia


This video says about itself:

8 December 2017

On this episode of Breaking Trail, Coyote meets Blossom the incredibly CUTE Brushtail Possum!

The Common Brushtail Possum is one of Australia’s most adorable and widespread marsupials. Blossom is a rescued ambassador for her species that lives at the Billabong Sanctuary in Queensland Australia and she quickly became one of the crews favorite animals encountered on their recent visit down under! Get ready to meet the worlds cutest possum!

HUGE THANKS to the Billabong Sanctuary and their staff for hosting the crew at this location and for all the work they do to preserve Australias magnificent wildlife. To meet Blossom for yourself consider making a visit!

Breaking Trail leaves the map behind and follows adventurer and animal expert Coyote Peterson and his crew as they encounter a variety of wildlife in the most amazing environments on the planet!

Marsupial lion fossil discovery in Australia


Wakaleo schouteni, the new species of marsupial lion lived in Australia around 19 million years ago. Peter Schouten, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Extinct kangaroo-like lion discovered in Australia

Fossil of dog-sized 19 million year-old marsupial reveals new insights into family tree of these ancient creatures

Josh Gabbatiss, Science Correspondent

Thursday 7 December 2017 01:14 GMT

The fossilised remains of a new species of marsupial lion have been found in Australia.

The predatory creature, named Wakaleo schouteni, is a relative of modern marsupials – mammals like kangaroos and koalas that keep their young in pouches.

It is also closely related to the last surviving species of marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex, which had enormous dagger-like fangs and the strongest bite of any known mammal species.

Though that species survived until around 30,000 years ago, it is thought that the arrival of humans in Australia may be linked to its demise.

This new lion is considerably more ancient. The scientists who discovered it estimate that it has been extinct for at least 19 million years.

It is also considerably smaller. While at 130 kg the larger marsupial lions could have been a real threat to our ancestors, this new species is around the size of a dog, weighing around 23 kg.

The discovery has helped researchers understand the family tree of marsupial lions, which are thought to have existed in Australia at least as far back as 25 million years ago.

“The identification of these new species have brought to light a level of marsupial lion diversity that was quite unexpected and suggest even deeper origins for the family”, said at Dr Anna Gillespie, a palaeontologist at the University of New South Wales and lead author of the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology paper describing the new species.

By examining the teeth of the newly identified specimen, Dr Gillespie and her collaborators have deduced that it is one of the most primitive marsupial lions discovered so far.

Marsupial lions are thought to have been skilful ambush predators that would have terrorised the Australian bush.

Prior to the arrival of humans in Australia, the continent was home to a huge array of giant marsupials.

See also here.