Erich Fitzgerald, Senior Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Museum Victoria, announced the discovery of the most complete fossilized remains of a Diprotodontid marsupial ever found near Sorrento in the Mornington Peninsula National Park of Australia in the Oct. 2, 2013, edition of the Herald Sun.
The animal was first discovered by two locals who alerted the paleontologist. Erosion in the beach area is considered to be responsible for the exposure of the fossil.
The ancient wombat relative was 12 feet long, six feet high, and weighed as much as 6,000 pounds. The dating of the specimen is not completely clear because the entire skeleton has not been removed from the site. Estimates at present date the animal to 40,000 years of age but the fossil may be as old as 200,000 years of age.
This animal and its marsupial relatives are known to have existed in Australia from 28 million to 11,000 years ago. This specimen is one of the larger species of the Diprotodontid group.
The animal lived during the Ice Age in Australia. Australia was not ice covered during the time but was considered to be dry and arid by most paleontologists.
This is the most complete Diprotodontid fossil ever discovered in Australia to date.