Wakiewakie lawsoni (Lawson’s Wakiwakie) was a small rat-kangaroo related to bettongs and other rat-kangaroos. It was most likely omnivorous, though it may have been a specialist, eating mostly fungi (mushrooms) in the Riversleigh rainforests.
Body size estimate
Body mass estimated at around 800 grams.
Distribution and locality
Wakiewakie lawsoni is known from the early Miocene deposits of the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, northwestern Queensland and from the Kutjamarpu Local Fauna in South Australia.
Riversleigh deposits include:
Faunal Zone B (Early Miocene) – Upper Site.
It is found in Faunal Zones B (Early Miocene). Faunal Zone B is considered to be a rainforest environment.
Feeding and Diet
It was most likely omnivorous, though it may have been a specialist, eating mostly fungi (mushrooms) in the Riversleigh rainforests.
A near complete lower jaw (dentary) was recovered from Kutjamarpu Local Fauna in South Australia. Only one specimen of this species was found at Riversleigh.
Wakiewakie lawsoni is a member of the family Macropodidae, a family which included the rat-kangaroos (Potoroinae) and bettongs.
- Woodburne, M. O. 1984. Wakiewakie lawsoni, a new genus and species of Potoroinae (Marsupialia: Macropodidae) of medial Miocene age, South Australia. Journal of Paleontology 58, 1062-1073.
- Travouillon, K.J., Legendre, S., Archer, M., and Hand, S.J., 2009. Palaeoecological Analyses of Riversleigh’s Oligo-Miocene Sites: Implications for Oligo-Miocene climate change in Australia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology,Palaeoecology 276, 24–37.