Zygomaturus facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsZygomaturus
Temporal range: Pleistocene
|Skeletal mount of Zygomaturus trilobus at the Melbourne Museum|
It was a large animal, weighing 500 kg (1100 lbs) or over 700 kg (1544 lbs) and standing about 1.5 m (4.9 ft) tall and 2.5 m (8.2 ft) long. It rivaled several other Diprotodontidae in size such as Euryzygoma, Euowenia, Nototherium, and was smaller than Diprotodon and Palorchestes.
It had a heavy body and thick legs and is believed to be similar to the modern pygmy hippopotamus in both size and build. The genus moved on all fours. Zygomaturus lived in the wet coastal margins of Australia and also is believed to have expanded its range toward the interior of the continent along the waterways. It is believed to have lived solitarily or possibly in small herds. Zygomaturus probably ate reeds and sedges by shovelling them up in clumps with its lower incisor teeth. However, in analysis of remains from Cuddie Springs, the carbon isotope ratios suggests that it consumed both C3 and C4 plants, with a dental microwear texture indicative of browsing,
It was once thought that Zygomaturus became extinct about 45,000 years ago until a surprisingly late date of 33-37 Kya is known from the Willandra Lakes Region in New South Wales, the latest known date for any Australian Megafauna. This is well after aboriginal arrival in Australia around 50 Kya.
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