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Scary Down Under

Sounds like it used to be:

SYDNEY, Australia - Before there were cuddly koalas, hoards of flesh-eating kangaroos, "demon ducks," and marsupial lions roamed Australia's Outback, according to recent fossil discoveries by paleontologists.

A saber-toothed kangaroo and a giant 10-foot-tall, 881-pound bird scientists nicknamed the "demon duck of doom" were among the largely unknown species uncovered in the dig, Archer told reporters Wednesday.

"They were galloping kangaroos, they didn't hop," Archer said. "They were also far more muscly than the kangaroos we know, with sharp saber-like incisors and powerful forelimbs to help rip and tear their prey."

The remains of ancient tree-climbing crocodiles and marsupial lions were also uncovered in the rocks.

Tree-climbing crocs? Crikey, somebody tell this guy. The reference to marsupial lions puts me in mind of the extinct tasmanian tiger, which may have been a distant cousin to the "lion."

tasmaniantiger.jpg

Sounds like a pretty amazing world. It's startling to think that there are still such wonderful things to be discovered, even today. We probably think we know a lot more about the prehistoric world than we really do know.

Anyhow, I hope Discovery Channel or National Geographic puts together one of those computer animation simulations of what this world might have looked like. I really want to see the Duck of Doom in action.

Comments

"Demon Duke of Doom" I love it! From the distance of two oceans and 100,000 years anyway.

I wonder if some of these animals weren't hunted to extinction not only for their meat, but to exterminate a serious threat.

"Man, we're losing a lot of people to those Demon Ducks of Doom. Let's slash and burn their valley and drive them out in the open where we can kill them."

I'm guessing from the description that these were large flightless aquatic predator birds. Yeah, it would be interesting to see them simulated.

Deliberately driven to extinction?

For shame, my friend. You seem to have forgotten that primitive people are peaceful and that they live in perfect harmony with nature.

These magnificent birds probably went extinct because we didn't sign Kyoto.

I'm waiting for fossil evidence of Stephen Baxter's airwhale to get found: a pterosaur with a 100 foot wingspan, gliding at 50,000 feet, surviving by scooping up aerial bacteria....

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