An Ice Age mega-mystery: the story behind the science

3 May 2018

My research team and I recently had a new paper published that reconstructs the biology and ecology of the 3,000 kg giant wombat-like Diprotodon of the Pleistocene of Australia. Our study generated a fair bit of media coverage, with reports appearing on the BBC and ABC, and write-ups in both Science and Nature.

In a nutshell, our investigation revealed that Diprotodon was a seasonal migrant, a first for any marsupial, living or extinct. The research has big implications for understanding a variety of aspects surrounding the extinction of the megafauna – the giant land animals that lived alongside Diprotodon including eight-foot tall kangaroos, huge venomous goannas, giant birds, and snakes so big that they that would give the anaconda a run for its money. Most importantly, the new findings tell us more about how Australia’s Ice Age megafaunal ecosystems operated.

This blog post is not so much about the findings and implications of our research, but the story of how the study evolved and why we even did it in the first place.

Read the full blog post.