Paleontologists have uncovered an unprecedented history of an animal known to be closely related to the marsupial koalas.
The creature named Mukupirna nambensis wandered in the forests of Australia 25 million years ago. They weigh about 150kg, the equivalent of a North American black bear and 5 times larger than the current male koalas.
photo of a new species of prehistoric mammal discovered in Australia. (Photo: Reuters)
Mukupirna's skull and some fossil fragments have been unearthed in the Eyre Lake basin since 1973 but have recently been carefully analyzed by experts from the University of New South Wales of Australia and the University of Salford in England.
Mukupirna's fossilized jaw bone. (Photo: Guardian ).
As described in Scientific Reports on June 25, Mukupirna nambensis is the closest prehistoric relative of the proboscis. They also eat plants and have some characteristics that indicate that life is well adapted to digging.
The massive muscle mass and the long, strong, curved claws make Mukupirna's foreleg an effective tool for digging roots and roots, their main source of food. Unlike the mundane nosebleed, this prehistoric mammal does not burrow due to its large size.
"Mukupirna is not a direct ancestor of the marsupial koalas but belongs to the evolutionary branch. Their common ancestor is probably also a digger , " said lead researcher Robin Beck, a professor at Salford University. strong.