Thursday, July 13, 2006

Killer Kangaroos and Demon Ducks

MSNBC News reported yesterday (HT: WorldNetDaily) on a cool archaeological find in Australia.

Forget cute, cuddly marsupials. Paleontologists say they have found the fossilized remains of a fanged killer kangaroo and what they describe as a "demon duck of doom."

The fossils, part of a group of twenty new species, were found in Queensland by a team from the University of New South Wales.

Professor Michael Archer said Wednesday that the remains of a meat-eating kangaroo with wolflike fangs were found, as well as a galloping kangaroo with long forearms that could not hop like a modern kangaroo.

The species found at the dig had "well muscled-in teeth, not for grazing. These things had slicing crests that could have crunched through bone and sliced off flesh," [vertebrate paleontologist Sue] Hand said.

Sounds like some of the bosses I've had...

The team also found prehistoric lungfish and large ducklike birds.

"Very big birds ... more like ducks, earned the name 'demon duck of doom', some at least may have been carnivorous as well," Hand told ABC radio.

Archer said the team was studying the fossils to better understand how they were affected by changing climates in the Miocene epoch between 5 million and 24 million years ago.

What's to study? I can already tell the team how these animals were affected: They became extinct.

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