When I saw this earlier today, I knew I had to write a post on it. So, even though Afarensis beat me to it, I’m going to do it anyway.
I just love this article from the BBC. It sounds kind of like what an elementary school student would write if he or she was suddenly endowed with professional writing abilities: it doesn’t hold back any of its excitment, and it uses terms like “killer kangaroo” and “flesh-eating marsupial” in lieu of more formal scientific names:
‘Killer kangaroo’ evidence found
Palaeontologists digging in northern Australia have found fossil evidence of several new species – including a “killer kangaroo”.
The flesh-eating marsupial would have lived between 10 and 20 million years ago, scientists say.
The research team has also unearthed evidence of a large carnivorous bird dubbed the “demon duck of doom”.
The dig site in Queensland has yielded remains of at least 20 previously unknown creatures.
The team from the University of New South Wales made the discoveries in the Riversleigh fossil fields in the north-west of the state.
Professor Mike Archer said the dig had turned up “truly extraordinary material”.
He said the killer kangaroos would not have been like the creatures of today.
“There were meat-eating kangaroos with long fangs, and galloping kangaroos with long forearms, which could not hop,” he told The Australian newspaper.
Palaeontologist Sue Hand, who also participated in the dig, told Australian radio that other potentially frightening creatures were unearthed.
“Very big birds… More like ducks, earned the name demon ducks of doom, some at least may have been carnivorous,” she said.
The team now plans to study the fossils in detail, to see what more they can learn about the species and what effect changing climate had on their development.
Apparently not too much has changed in Australia since then, considering that the continent still hosts more deadly creatures than anywhere else. Of these, none are more terrifying than the box jellyfish, whose sting is fatal if not treated.