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Wombat Video Activity

Examining a primary source

In 2011, scientists in Australia unearthed the nearly complete remains of a “giant wombat,“ or Diprotodon optatum, which roamed the Earth two million years ago. The name “diprotodon“ means ‘two front teeth’ and refers to the two large incisors (front teeth) found in both the upper and lower jaws. Found on a farm in Queensland, the skeleton belonged to a herbivorous marsupial weighing three tons and of a size equal to a four-wheel drive car (6 ½ ft tall and 11 ft long). Paleontologists are studying the fossilized remains to better understand this animal and the reasons for its extinction.

Directions:

Study the picture of the Diprotodon skeleton below. List the similarities you find between the fossil and what you know about its descendant, the wombat of today.

Diprotodon australis skeleton

Photo source: LadyofHats via Wikimedia Commons

Similarities between the the Diprotodon and the wombat.