22 Jun 2012

Giant fossilised skeletons found

5:07 am on 22 June 2012

Scientists have unearthed the fossilised skeletons of up to 40 giant marsupials in south-west Queensland.

The fossils are believe to be remains of Diprotodon, a hippopotamus-sized animal which fed on leaves and shrubs, and is believed to be the largest marsupial to have lived.

It is estimated they lived between 1.6 million and 40,000 years ago, feeding on tree leaves and shrubs.

The ABC reports the discovery was made at a site north of Eulo by scientists from Queensland Museum, Griffith University and the Outback Gondwana Foundation.

Dr Scott Hocknull says one of the skeletons, nicknamed Kenny, is one of the largest and best preserved mega-fauna finds he has seen.

He says the fossils could be up to 200,000 years old.

''It is the largest concentration of this one gigantic marsupial that I have ever seen, anywhere in Australia,'' he said.