An ancient kangaroo species that did not hop, but outlived its fanged cousins

There’s a new genus and two brand new species of extinct kangaroos which couldn’t hop, but may have been the ancestors to all kangaroos and wallabies living today, report University of Queensland (UQ) scientists.

The new kangaroo species lived around 15-23 million years ago and were the size of very small wallabies or pademelons. They were found in ancient fossil deposits at the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in north-western Queensland, Australia.

The new genus is Cookeroo named after  Bernard Cooke, a renowned researcher on Riversleigh’s ancient kanagaroos, and the two new species are Cookeroo bulwidarri, which lived about 23 million years ago, and Cookeroo hortusensis which lived 20 million to 18 million years ago.

The new species directly competed with their cousins, the ‘fanged’ kangaroos  at Riversleigh, and completely beat them and their descendants, possibly because .they were better adapted to the environmental change from rainforest to more open forest and woodland environments, the Queensland scientists report in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Link to University of Queensland release :

 

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