Posted by: Gregoryno6 | November 15, 2014

And they would have made such lovely pets.

Old Australia was such a damn fun place. Giant kangaroos, giant wombats, and now…

The new platypus species, named Obdurodon tharalkooschild, is based on a single tooth from the famous Riversleigh World Heritage Area of northwest Queensland…Based on the size of tooth, it is estimated that this extinct species would have been nearly a meter (more than three feet) long, twice the size of the modern platypus. The bumps and ridges on the teeth also provide clues about what this species likely ate.

“Like other platypuses, it was probably a mostly aquatic mammal, and would have lived in and around the freshwater pools in the forests that covered the Riversleigh area millions of years ago,” said Dr. Suzanne Hand of the University of New South Wales, a co-author of the study. “Obdurodon tharalkooschild was a very large platypus with well-developed teeth, and we think it probably fed not only on crayfish and other freshwater crustaceans, but also on small vertebrates including the lungfish, frogs, and small turtles …”

And here is the inevitable artist’s impression of the Godzilla Platypus.

Godzilla platypus

Doesn’t really convey the size of this freak bastard monotreme… if it was eating a small child instead of a turtle, that would leave us properly awestruck.

But this ‘discovery’ is based on a single fossil tooth. I’m not saying the scientists are wrong; I’m just saying that they’ve been wrong about ancient animals before.

The story calls to mind a Monty Python sketch.

 

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Responses

  1. Speaking of Monty Python..
    Thought you might enjoy this..

    Monty Python’s John Cleese on the secret of success: Enjoy the process, and reinvent yourself

    http://qz.com/297206/monty-pythons-john-cleese-on-the-secret-of-success-enjoy-the-process-and-reinvent-yourself/

    • Good article. Thanks for that, JP.
      As I approached my half-century a few years ago I said that the next fifty years were going to be different from the last fifty years. It’s been a bit like turning a supertanker around, but change is happening.

      • Hell yes Greg. Keep that supertanker going.


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