Articles on Megafauna

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A pair of blacktip reef shark neonates (Carcharhinus melanopterus) gently cruise among the roots in the mangrove forest of Surin Archipelago during high tide in Mu Koh Surin national park, Thailand. Shin Arunrugstichai

From sharks in seagrass to manatees in mangroves, we’ve found large marine species in some surprising places

Far more megafauna species use coastal wetlands than we thought. And it affects the way we need to address the extinction crisis.
An illustration of Palorchestes azael, a marsupial tapir from the Pleistocene of Australia. There is evidence that this extinct species is depicted in rock art from the Kimberley. Nobu Tamura/Wikimedia Commons

Of bunyips and other beasts: living memories of long-extinct creatures in art and stories

It is plausible to suppose that human memories of long-extinct creatures today underpin many stories we have generally regarded as fiction.
A modern mouse lemur Microcebus sits upon the cranium of an extinct Megaladapis lemur. Dao Van Hoang www.daovanhoang.com

Last of the giants: What killed off Madagascar’s megafauna a thousand years ago?

A series of new studies sheds light on the population crash and extinction of the giant birds, lemurs and more that roamed the island until around A.D. 700-1000.
An artist’s impression of the Wakaleo schouteni marsupial ‘lion’ challenging a thylacine over the carcass of a kangaroo in the early Miocene rainforest of Riversleigh. Peter Schouten

A new species of marsupial lion tells us about Australia’s past

'Marsupial lions' aren't really lions - but they did have teeth that formed a pair of secateur-like blades. The newly found species lived in forests of Queensland around 20 million years ago.
An impression of what it could have looked like: a giant lizard, Megalania, stalks a herd of migrating Diprotodon, while a pair of massive megafaunal kangaroos look on. Laurie Beirne

Giant marsupials once migrated across an Australian Ice Age landscape

Studies of the fossil teeth of the three-tonne Diprotodon have revealed the now-extinct beast was Australia's only known seasonally migrating marsupial.
Hypothetical reconstruction of the largest extinct megapode, Progura gallinacea (right), with a modern Brush-turkey and a Grey Kangaroo. Artwork by E. Shute, from photos by Tony Rudd, Kim Benson and Aaron Camens

Tall turkeys and nuggety chickens: large ‘megapode’ birds once lived across Australia

Large birds once lived across Australia, only to become extinct around the time that giant marsupials and other megafauna died out during the Pleistocene "ice ages".
What it could have looked like when humans and megafauna lived together: a giant macropod Procoptodon goliah in the foreground, while Thylacinus cynocephalus hunts for prey nearby. A herd of Zygomaturus can be see on the lake edge of the ancient Willandra system. Illustration by Laurie Beirne

Aboriginal Australians co-existed with the megafauna for at least 17,000 years

The extinction of the giant reptiles, marsupials and birds that once called Australia home has been the subject of much debate, including the role early Australians may have had on their fate.

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