Extinct giant kangaroos probably couldn't hop

2014-10-28 07:50

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Providence - An extinct species of giant kangaroos was likely too large to be able to hop, a new study has concluded, proposing that the marsupials walked upright on their hind legs as some extant tree-kangaroos occasionally do.

The research team, led by Christine Janis, a professor of biology at Brown University in the US city of Providence, analysed limb bone measurements of the short-snouted giant kangaroos in comparison with those of their modern cousins.

Weighing an estimated 240kg, the largest of the ancient species (Procoptodon goliah) were almost three times heavier than the largest living kangaroos.

Reporting in the online scientific journal PLOS ONE, the researchers speculated that the giant kangaroos, which became extinct about 30 000 years ago, would have put too much stress on their bones and tendons had they hopped.

Read more on:    animals

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