General, Research, Technology

Australia has discovered a new animal, but it has already died out

In 1973, on one of the dry reservoirsStrong winds blew in Australia, because of which he lost a fairly thick layer of sand. It turned out that all this time, under the loose earth, the remains of numerous animals were stored, which got stuck in the mud about 25 million years ago and subsequently died. They have been studied for many years by a group of researchers led by paleontologist Dick Tedford (Dick Tedford) - in the course of scientific work, they were able to discover a completely new animal for science. A lot of time has passed from this moment, but scientists officially described the unexpectedly found creation only recently. The new animal was called murkupina (Mukupirna nambensis) - according to researchers, it looked like a huge hamster. Unfortunately, these unusual creatures have long died out.

Murcupins were dog-sized herbivores

Murkupina - An ancient animal similar to a huge hamster, which died out about 25 million years ago. From the language of the natives living in Australia, the name of the animal can be translated as "large bones."

New animals

After the bottom of the dried reservoiranimal bones were found, scientists began to gently find out if there are any animal remains at a greater depth. They could not use shovels and all the more large equipment, because if there were other bones under the ground, heavy tools would easily damage them. Therefore, in order to conduct a neat “reconnaissance,” the researchers carefully pushed a metal rod into the ground. When the rod stopped, scientists began to dig a certain piece of land. They eventually found the bones of a rather large and previously unknown animal. This was reported by ScienceAlert.

Fragment of a skull of an ancient animal of Australia

After examining the bones, the researchers concluded thatthe mysterious animal weighed about 170 kilograms. Outwardly, it looked like a very large wombat - the marsupial creature of Australia, which looks like something between a small bear and a large hamster. It has been suggested that the animal found is the ancestor of modern wombats. The old man was given the name Mukupirna nambensis, which is composed of two words of the Australian aborigines: “muku” means “bones”, and “pirna” means “large”.

See also: Jurassic Park found in Australia

Researchers believe Murcupins possessedpowerful forearms and could easily dig up the ground. But why they needed the digging skill is not clear, because because of their large size, they could hardly hide in holes. But wombats live perfectly in burrows, which are a whole system of various tunnels. Most of these systems reach 20 meters in length and 3.5 meters in depth. In these caves, wombats have a rest during the day, and in the evening they are selected from them to eat up the roots of plants, mushrooms and berries.

This is what modern wombats look like. Cutie, right?

Murkupins also fed on vegetation, butonly mild varieties. This is evidenced by the fact that the teeth located near the cheeks were very low, which would not allow the animals to grind solid food well. With all this, the teeth had well-developed roots. Most likely, the ancient relatives of the wombats ate the soft leaves of plants that grew in the rainforests in which they lived.

Judging by the remains of pollen, Australia used to have few meadows, but many tropical forests

Animals of Australia

About the tropical origin of ancient creaturessays pollen, which was found at the site of detection of animal bones. Apparently, in addition to murkupins, kangaroos and koalas also inhabited them. Also, marsupial lions of the species Wakaleo schouteni, which was comparable in size to a dog and weighed about 23 kilograms, clearly inhabited this territory. This animal became known in 2017 - the remains of a skull with teeth, as well as the humerus, were found near the Australian state of Queensland.

Marsupial lion Wakaleo schouteni as a representation of the artist

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In general, Australia is an amazing place inwhich is inhabited by the most unusual creatures of our planet. For example, recently my colleague Lyubov Sokovikova told me that the longest animal in the world was discovered there. Its length reaches an impressive 47 meters, but there is one interesting feature - in essence, it is a very large colony of tiny creatures. Learn more about this animal in this material.