Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fossil kangaroo teeth reveal mosaic of Pliocene ecosystems in Queensland

Date:
June 12, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
The teeth of a kangaroo and other extinct marsupials reveal that southeastern Queensland 2.5-5-million-years ago was a mosaic of tropical forests, wetlands and grasslands and much less arid than previously thought.

The teeth of a kangaroo and other extinct marsupials reveal that southeastern Queensland 2.5-5-million-years ago was a mosaic of tropical forests, wetlands and grasslands and much less arid than previously thought. The chemical analysis of tooth enamel that suggests this diverse prehistoric habitat is published June 12 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Shaena Montanari from the American Museum of Natural History and colleagues from other institutions.

The carbon isotope ratios present in these fossil teeth revealed that the extinct kangaroo ate plants similar to those consumed by present-day kangaroos in temperate and tropical regions, rather than the plants that now grow in this region. The fossils examined also suggest that different animals in the area occupied specialized dietary niches and did not rely on identical sources of food. As the authors explain, "This period, the Pliocene, is critical to understand the origins and evolution of Australia's unique modern animals. It is during this time that the Australian fauna first began to take on its modern appearance and distinctiveness, with many modern Australian marsupials, such as the agile wallaby Macropus gracilis, first appearing in Pliocene fossil deposits."

Montanari adds, "It is vital for us to understand what types of environments Australian megafauna thrived in during the Pliocene. Obtaining detailed environmental records from this time can help us find the drivers of the subsequent extinctions of many of these large marsupials."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shaena Montanari, Julien Louys, Gilbert J. Price. Pliocene Paleoenvironments of Southeastern Queensland, Australia Inferred from Stable Isotopes of Marsupial Tooth Enamel. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (6): e66221 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066221

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Fossil kangaroo teeth reveal mosaic of Pliocene ecosystems in Queensland." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612173326.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, June 12). Fossil kangaroo teeth reveal mosaic of Pliocene ecosystems in Queensland. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612173326.htm
Public Library of Science. "Fossil kangaroo teeth reveal mosaic of Pliocene ecosystems in Queensland." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612173326.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

2,000 Year Old Pre-Inca Cloak on Display in Lima

2,000 Year Old Pre-Inca Cloak on Display in Lima

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) A 2,000 year-old Pre-Inca cloak that is believed to represent an agricultural calendar of the Paracas culture is on display in Lima. Duration: 00:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Original Mozart Sonata Manuscript Found in Budapest

Original Mozart Sonata Manuscript Found in Budapest

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) Considered lost for over two centuries, the original manuscript of one of the most famous works of Mozart's Sonata in A major has been uncovered in a library in Budapest. Duration: 01:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Underground Art Reveals WW1 Soldiers' Hopes and Fears

Underground Art Reveals WW1 Soldiers' Hopes and Fears

AFP (Sep. 25, 2014) American doctor and photographer Jeff Gusky reveals the underground quarries used by the soldiers of World War One, and the artwork they left behind which illustrates their hopes and fears. Duration: 02:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A rare, well-preserved skeleton of a woolly mammoth is going on sale at Summers Place Auctions hope the 11.5-foot tall, almost intact specimen will fetch between $245,000 to $409,000. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins