In Australia, found the skeleton of a giant wombat: the history of death PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 July 2011 00:01

BBC  reported that, in the north of the Australian state of Queensland, was found almost completely preserved skeleton of a giant Marsupial (Diprotodon optatum), resembling a giant wombat, which lived more than 50 thoUSAnd years ago.

Professor Mike Archer from the University of New South Wales reported, that the Marsupial was herbivores, its dimensions are comparable with the car and weighs was about three tons. For the first time in Australia was found a complete skeleton of the oldest inhabitant of Australia. Due to the fact, that this finding was found in a place, where were found many representatives of the Australian megafauna of this period, this finding is not only paleontological interest, but also can serve as a basis for understanding, what a disaster caused such a massive extinction of many species of Australian megafauna a tens of thoUSAnds of years ago.

Here is a new version of the death of megafauna, which first appeared only two days ago, namely- on July 5, 2011 in South Australia, 96 km south-east of Melbourne in the same place, there were two earthquakes of magnitude 4.6 and 3.7. Particular attention is attracted by these Australian earthquakes because they happen to spot of long extinct volcanoes, which last an estimated erupted thoUSAnds of years ago. And we know, that earthquakes in the vicinity of volcanic eruptions may be harbingers of these volcanoes.

As reported by a team of scientists from the University of Melbourne – in Australia could soon wake up the dormant volcanoes, as volcanic eruptions have occurred previously in Australia every 2000 years, but the last volcano woke up more than 5000 years ago. If you look at the location of volcanoes in Australian territory, it immediately apparent that Queensland, where was found a fully preserved skeleton of a giant Marsupial (Diprotodon optatum) is literally full of extinct volcanoes- in Queensland there are about 400 volcanoes.

Queensland is a state in north-eastern Australian mainland. In Queensland there are five security zones of World Heritage sites: The Australian Reserve fossil mammals in the Gulf Country, Central Eastern Rainforest Reserve, Fraser Island, Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics of Queensland. So there are good reasons to assume, that Queensland was the last refuge of the representatives of the ancient megafauna of Australia, who could find in this state for some meager sustenance from its proximity to the equator and humid climate.

The ancient catastrophe, that led to the deaths of many animals of Australia, are probably came from the south of Australia, and it is very likely, that this was a major volcanic eruption somewhere in the south of Australia. The main cause of death was a volcanic ash, covering large areas of Australia.

It should be noted, that smaller species of Australian wombats were more likely to survive the disaster than the giant wombats, as wombats (Latin Vombatidae) are Australian Marsupials, they are short-legged, muscular quadrupeds. They are adaptable in their habitat tolerances, and are found in forested, mountainous, and heathland areas of south-eastern Australia. Because of the structure of muscles, divided upper lip allows wombats easily and accurately choose what they eat, and the front teeth wombat can reach right down to the ground and cut even the smallest shoots of plants. A particularly important role in the selection and search for food at night wombats playing active sense of smell. The metabolism of wombats is very slow and effective. To digest a food, even modern wombats need up to 14 days. Wombats are currently the most economical water users of all mammals on Earth, after the camel: for wombats enough 22 milliliters of water per kilogram of body weight per day. Even the kangaroos, which are perfectly adapted to the harsh life in Australia, are spending four times more water.

As a result of a volcanic eruption in Australia, were covered with volcanic ash huge tracts of its territory because of what the giant wombats, because of its economical expenditure of energy (for sure wombats were not required to eat every day), survived for several weeks more, then large predators, which allowed to survive the skeleton of wombat, as small predators were not able to physically pull apart its.

Thus, the finding is a skeleton of a giant wombat suggests the presence of sudden and rapid disaster is likely a powerful volcanic eruption, which occurred somewhere in Australia about 50 thoUSAnd years ago. And the day before yesterday two earthquakes in the same place cause to pay attention to this region of the Earth, because such a disaster could happen again and sudden awakening of volcanoes in Australia can cause a lot of trouble for Australians.




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