New doomed fanged kangaroo species

Partial skeleton of the new species of fanged kangaroo, Balbaroo nalima.

Partial skeleton of the new species of fanged kangaroo, Balbaroo nalima.

A new species of fanged kangaroo has been described from 15-13 million year old sites at the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, but it seems to represent one of the last living members of the fanged kangaroo family, Balbaridae. The study published in PLoS ONE, reviews all species in the genus Balbaroo, which contains the famous fanged kangaroo, Balbaroo fangaroo. The new species, named Balbaroo nalima, has a partial skeleton associated with its skull, providing some information about the locomotion of the animal. It appears that fanged kangaroos were mostly walking on four legs, and probably galloped rather than hopped.

The fanged kangaroo have no descendants today, and appear to go extinct sometimes in the middle to late Miocene (around 10 million years ago). They were a very diverse family, with many species, and ranged in size from 3-10kg.

Skull of the fanged kangaroo, Balbaroo fangaroo

Skull of the fanged kangaroo, Balbaroo fangaroo

Reference:

Black KH, Travouillon KJ, Den Boer W, Kear BP, Cooke BN, et al. (2014) A New Species of the Basal ‘‘Kangaroo’’ Balbaroo and a Re-Evaluation of Stem
Macropodiform Interrelationships. PLoS ONE 9(11): e112705. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112705

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