Diprotodon optatum – Giant marsupial – megafauna
The first Diprotodon Optatum remains were discovered in a cave near Wellington N.S.W in the early 1830s. Over the last 150 years, a scientist has discovered many more partial and complete skeletons of this Pleistocene prehistoric giant marsupial.
At about the size of a rhinoceros, it was the largest marsupial which ever lived, and a herbivore weighing in at about 28000kgs.
It stood nearly two metres tall and was about 3.5 metres long. It was the first fossil mammal named by Owen in 1838.
Diprotodon is distantly related to the wombats and the last surviving species of its family. It existed approximately 1.6million years ago.
It was the first prehistoric megafauna animal found in Australia and is the most recognised of the Australian megafauna.
They lived in small herds across the Australian mainland, until their extinction at some point in the last 50,000 years.
Overkill by humans and climate change have both been the likely reasons for its demise. The many skeletal remains are often described as bunyip remains by aboriginal tribes throughout Australia.
In 2018, Natureworks undertook the life-sized fleshed out re-construction of an adult animal. It is available as a standard fibreglass display item or as an extra heavy duty model with a full 2 pack polyurethane paint system applied for the playground and outdoor use.