Menu Close

Articles on Megafaunal extinction

Displaying 1 - 20 of 25 articles

North America during the late Pleistocene: a pack of dire wolves (red hair) are feeding bison while a pair of grey wolves approach in the hopes of scavenging. Mauricio Antón

Dire wolves went extinct 13,000 years ago but thanks to new genetic analysis their true story can now be told

Our research shows dire wolves lived in the tropics not the Arctic, and were not especially close relatives of the grey wolf.
Life and death in tropical Australia, 40,000 years ago. Giant reptiles ruled northern Australia during the Pleistocene with mega-marsupials as their prey. Image Credit: R. Bargiel, V. Konstantinov, A. Atuchin & S. Hocknull (2020). Queensland Museum.

Humans coexisted with three-tonne marsupials and lizards as long as cars in ancient Australia

These megafauna were the largest land animals to live in Australia since the time of the dinosaurs.
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.
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.
Diprotodon, the largest ever marsupial, probably died out at human hands. Peter Murray (courtesy of Chris Johnson)

New analysis finds no evidence that climate wiped out Australia’s megafauna

What killed off Australia’s giant wombats and other megafauna? New dating once again points the finger at human hunters, rather than abrupt changes to the climate.
An artist’s reconstruction of what the giant bird Dromornis would look like. Genyornis would be similar but slightly smaller. Peter Trusler

A case of mistaken identity for Australia’s extinct big bird

Our entire knowledge of one of Australia’s extinct ancient giant birds is flawed because experts have been looking at remnants of the wrong egg the whole time.

Top contributors

More