Procoptodon

Procoptodon

Procoptodon was a genus of giant short-faced kangaroo living in Australia during the Pleistocene epoch. P. goliah, the largest kangaroo that ever existed, stood approximately 3 metres (10 feet) tall and weighed about 232 kg (507 pounds).

The giant short-faced kangaroos had a flat face and forward-pointing eyes. On each foot it had a single large toe somewhat similar in appearance like a horse's hoof. On these unusual feet it moved quickly through the open forests and plains, where it sought grass and leaves to eat. Its front paws were equally strange: each front paw had two extra-long fingers with large claws. Perhaps they were used to grab branches, bringing leaves within eating distance. The genus went extinct about 50,000 years ago though there is some evidence they may have survived until as recently as 18,000 years ago. Their demise is usually attributed to human activities, but this remains uncertain.

A full-size, life-like replica is on permanent display with other ancient native Australian animals at the Australian Museum.

The genus is paraphyletic, derived from Simosthenurus.

References

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