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sábado, 7 de abril de 2018

Fauna Pré-Histórica Australiana - Marsupial


Fauna Pré-Histórica Australiana - Marsupial


Restos de Marsupial Gigante de 50 Mil Anos São Descobertos na Austrália. 


Uma equipe de paleontólogos descobriu em uma remota região do norte da Austrália os restos de um diprotodonte, um marsupial gigante que povoou o planeta há pelos menos 50 mil anos, informou nesta segunda-feira a imprensa local. 

  "O que vimos são os restos do marsupial maior que habitou o planeta, um animal de três toneladas de peso que passeou por estas terras entre 50.000 a dois milhões de anos atrás", disse Michael Archer, um de seus descobridores, à emissora local ABC. 

  A equipe do professor Archer desenterrou os restos do também chamado "wombat gigante" 

(Nota 1) na remota localidade de Bruketown, situado no estado australiano de Queensland. 

  O diprotodonte era um marsupial da era do Pleistoceno que caminhava em quatro patas e se parecia aparentemente ao wombat, embora tivesse tamanho de um rinoceronte ou um hipopótamo. 

  Estes animais de três metros de comprimento e dois de altura tinham um par de incisivos salientes, mas eram herbívoros e habitavam nas florestas abertas e semi-áridos planos da Austrália. 

  Com o achado, os paleontólogos acreditam que poderão armar o esqueleto mais completo de um diprotodonte. 

  "Os ossos não estão necessariamente na posição correta, mas provavelmente todo o esqueleto está neste local onde provavelmente caiu há 50.000 anos", disse o professor Archer. 

Fonte : UOL Notícias, 04/07/2011 

Nota 1 : Os animais das três espécies atuais de wombats podem atingir até 1 metro de comprimento e 35 quilos de peso.

Wombat (Vombatus Ursinus), Tasmânia


Diprotodonte - definição artistica




Editor de publicações do Museu Australiano, em Sydney, 
observa réplica de um diprotodon (AFP)


O Globo, 16/08/2006


O Leão Marsupial - O Globo, 16/08/2006



REPORTAGEM EM INGLÊS: (Daily Mail, 16/10/2014)

Less Skippy, more Ploddy! Kangaroo's ancient ancestor couldn't hop and instead lumbered along on two legs 

  Kangaroos are descended from giant ten-foot (three metre tall) creatures that were too heavy to hop, new research suggests. 

  Their extinct ancestors strode around the Australian outback 100,000 years ago, walking on two legs. 

  It was only when kangaroos shrunk from 40 stone (Nota 1) to a weight closer to their current seven-stone frame that they learned to bounce. 

  Professor Christine Janis, from Brown University in Providence, US, said: ‘I don't think they could have gotten that large unless they were walking.’ 

  The team, whose research was published last night in the journal PLOS One, analysed bones from more than 140 past and present kangaroo and wallaby skeletons, making nearly 100 measurements of each animal. 

  Unlike modern red and grey kangaroos, the giant animals called sthenurine kangaroos that preceded them lacked specialised features geared for rapid hopping. 

  Their bone structure indicated they had an upright posture and were able to support their weight on one foot at a time.  

  The creatures had large hips and knees and stable ankle joints that would have helped them walk on two legs. 

  Their hands were poorly suited for moving on all fours, but adapted for foraging. 

  Modern kangaroos are thought to have developed their distinctive hopping motion as an efficient way to travel the large distances needed to find food on the arid Australian outback. 

  Using elasticity in the tendons of their large legs to bounce is an effective, low-energy way to move at speed for long periods.  

  But it only remains efficient if body weight remains low. The giant ancient kangaroos would simply have been too heavy, the scientists suggest. 

  Professor Janis said: ‘People often interpret the behaviour of extinct animals as resembling that of the ones known today, but how would we interpret a giraffe or an elephant known only from the fossil record? 

  ‘We need to consider that extinct animals may have been doing something different from any of the living forms, and the bony anatomy provides great clues.’ 

  Whether or not reliance on walking rather than faster and more efficient hopping led to the ancient kangaoroos becoming extinct is unknown. 

  Professor Janis said they may have struggled to elude human hunters, or been unable to migrate far enough to find food as the climate became more arid. 

  HOW THE KANGAROOS' ANCESTOR MOVED  

  Large-bodied sthenurine kangaroos - a now extinct relative to modern-day kangaroos - first appeared in the middle Miocene period and became extinct in the late Pleistocene. 

  They were too heavy to hop and instead walked on two legs. 

  The largest of these kangaroos weighed around 38 stone (240kg) - almost three times as much as a modern kangaroo. 

  Larger hip and knee joints, as well as more stable ankle joints, meant the large animals were more suited to walking. 

  It was only when kangaroos shrunk from 40 stone to a weight closer to their current seven-stone frame that they learned to bounce. 

  Modern kangaroos are thought to have developed their distinctive hopping motion as an efficient way to travel the large distances needed to find food on the arid Australian outback.  

  ...KANGAROOS USE THEIR TAILS AS AN EXTRA LIMB TO HELP THEM MOVE 

  In July, scientists from Colorado, Sydney and Burnaby in Canada discovered that a kangaroo’s tail provide as much driving force as their front and hind legs combined. 

  'We found that when a kangaroo is walking, it uses its tail just like a leg,' said Associate Professor Maxwell Donelan of Simon Fraser University in in Burnaby, Canada. 

  ‘They use it to support, propel and power their motion. In fact, they perform as much mechanical work with their tails as we do with one of our legs.' 

  'What we didn't expect to find was how much power the tails of the kangaroos were producing. It was pretty darn surprising,’ said Associate Professor Rodger Kram at the University of Colorado Boulder. 

  Red kangaroos are the largest of the kangaroo species in Australia. 

  When grazing on grass, they move both hind feet forward 'paired limb' style while using their tails and front limbs together to support their bodies. 

  'They appear to be awkward and ungainly walkers when one watches them moseying around in their mobs looking for something to eat,' said Professor Kram. 

  'But it turns out it is not really that awkward, just weird.' 

  In human movement, the back foot acts as the gas pedal and the front foot acts as a brake, which is not especially efficient, said Professor Kram. 

  Professor Donelan said no animal other than the kangaroo uses its tail like a leg. ‘Their tails have more than 20 vertebrae, taking on the role of our foot, calf, and thigh bones.' 

  The kangaroo tail also boosts balance when male kangaroos grab each other by the chests or shoulders, then rear back and kick each other in the stomach in an attempt to assert dominance for the purpose of reproduction. 

Fonte : Daily Mail, 16/10/2014 

Autor : Ben Spencer 

Nota 1 do Site : Chamou a atenção neste artigo o uso da antiga medida inglesa de peso "stone" (pedra), equivalente a 6,35 quilogramas. 

Referência : DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109888 (Locomotion in Extinct Giant Kangaroos: Were Sthenurines Hop-Less Monsters?, PLoS ONE, 15/10/2014)


Hop-less! Kangaroos are descended from giant ten-foot (three meters) creatures that were too heavy to hop, new research suggests. An illustration is pictured. Their extinct ancestors strode around the Australian outback 100,000 years ago, walking on two legs



It was only when kangaroos shrunk from 40 stone to a weight closer to their current seven-stone frame that they learned to bounce. Modern kangaroos are thought to have developed their distinctive hopping motion as an efficient way to travel the large distances needed to find food on the arid Australian outback (pictured)



This summer, scientists discovered that a red kangaroo's tail provides as much driving force as their front and hind legs combined. The tail skeleton of a kangaroo is pictured right




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