A team of paleontologists recently discovered a seemingly odd creature that looked like a wombat, only 400% bigger and with bear-like traits.
The Finding was published on Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, and it presents a newly discovered creature, which is “so unusual it’s got its family classification,” CNET reports.
The researchers stated they discovered a fragment of an animal skull, initially found in Australia in 1973. It has now been labeled as the ancestor of the wombat.
The Mukupirna, as the creature is named (which means “big bones” in some native Australian languages), is so peculiar that it even earned its marsupial classification, researchers stated.
Robin Beck, a co-author of the study, tweeted:
47 years in the making, we can now introduce to the world Mukupirna nambensis, a 25 million year old, bear sized (150 kg) #marsupial related to #wombats – #OA paper in @SciReports https://t.co/DX7xDmzwb4 – reconstruction by the brilliant Peter Schouten @SalfordUni @SalfordScience pic.twitter.com/xhFwfqGfD6
— Robin Beck (@robinmdbeck) June 25, 2020
The teeth of the Mukupirna suggest that it mostly fed off of plants. It had strong limbs that helped it dig, CNET reports.
The Mukupirna “clearly was an impressive, powerful beast, at least three times larger than modern wombats,” Robin Beck added.
Meaning Of The Discovery
Trevor Worthy, a Palaeontologist from the Flinders University, told ABC in Australia that the animal was eventually going to be discovered. According to him, the creature is a sign that huge animals existed a short time ago.
He found it interesting that multiple 100+ kg giants existed approximately 26 million years ago, “at the end of the Oligocene.”
Such discoveries prove that we can’t overlook the fact that there were large animals around for a longer time before humans, and climatic change had a say in the process.