STL Science Center

STL Science Center

09 September 2018

Different -aroo

The kangaroos now exists as two species in one genus in Australia (and outside too as zoo animals and, increasingly, as pets). However, like any living animal, the kangaroos have ancestors, and a lot of them were very interesting. There have been kangaroos that walked instead of hopping and there have been kangaroos with rather large fangs. Most of those kangaroo ancestors have a -roo ending, which makes for some interesting names as well. One of the newest of these animals is the first true kangaroo known from 23 million years ago. This kangaroo, Cookeroo (divided into two species: C. bulwidarri and C. hortusensis), is also thought to have walked and scurried rather than hopped across the Australian landscape. These hypotheses are based mainly off of phylogenetic position (based on what I have found), as the paper describing the fossils describes numerous skulls, which are mostly incomplete, though some are fairly complete.
Holotype of Cookeroo bulwidarriPhoto posted by Dr. Kaylene Butler

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