A News Item 'Giant Wombat Skeleton Found'

The fossil of a car sized mega-wombat has been unearthed in northern Australia, scientists said Wednesday

A relative of the modern-day wombat, the diprotodon skeleton was dug up in remote Queensland last week and scientists believe it could shed valuable light on the species' demise.

Along with Australia's other mega fauna,which included towering kangaroos and gigantic crocodiles, diprotodon became extinct around the same time that indigenous tribes first appeared. "There's been a lot of debate about what killed the mega fauna and it's quite a hot topic in paleontology," Sue Hand, a professor on the team that made the discovery.

There could be some very interesting data to be extracted from the find.The animal was two metres tall (6 feet,six inches) and 3.5 metres (11 feet, six inches) long. It was the size of arhinoceros or a car, pigeon-toed and with a backward-facing pouch.

"They basically looked a lot like a wombat, a very big beefed-up wombat,much bigger than obviously anything that's around today," said Hand.

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