were about 30% larger than their living relatives.
They weren't quite as large as mammoths and dinosaurs, but by
Australian standards they definitely were very large.
There were the giant monotremes such as huge platypus and echidna the
size of a sheep.
The largest group was marsupials, and it included diprotodon (a wombat
like animal size of a hippopotamus), marsupial tapir (cattle sized),
giant kangaroos (three metres tall), giant wallabies, giant koalas,
tigers, marsupial lions
and three-metre carnivorous rat
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There were also giant birds such as a 500-kg thunderbird, a 250-kg
duck, and giant waterfowl.
Reptiles included 2.5 metre turtles, seven metre carnivorous goannas,
seven metre terrestrial crocodiles, and the largest Australian snakes
All went extinct quite suddenly during Pleistocene, between about
45,000 years ago.
The cause is an ongoing discussion between human causes and climate
change, however the climate change at the time was no more extreme than
many before that the mega fauna had survivied; while the timing of the
obviously coincides with the arrival of the first humans in Australia.
A combination of hunting and landscape burning has been suggested to be
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