Gyedarra

Mystery Marsup IAL of Australia.

Etymology: Australian word.

Physical description: Size of a horse.

Behavior: Semiaquatic. Eats grass.

Habitat: Creek beds, where it excavates large holes in the banks.

Distribution: Near Gowrie Station, Queensland, Australia.

Significant sighting: Aborigines claimed that the fossil bones of extinct diprotodonts belonged to large animals that were alive several generations earlier.

Present status: Extinct but known as living animals to the ancestors of the Aborigines.

Possible explanation: Surviving Diprotodon op-tatum, a fossil wombatlike marsupial, the largest known, that lived from 2.5 million to as recently as 6,000 years ago. It was the size of a modern rhinoceros, about 10 feet long, and had a heavy skull nearly 3 feet long. It had massive jaws and a large lower incisor.

Source: George Bennett, "A Trip to Queensland in Search of Fossils," Annals and Magazine ofNaturalHistory, ser. 4, 9 (1872): 315.

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