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 September 16, 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 September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Museum Traces Fragments of Star-Spangled Banner

Museum Traces Fragments of Star-Spangled Banner

AP (Sep. 12, 2014) — As the Star-Spangled Banner celebrates its bicentennial, Smithsonian curators are still uncovering fragments of the original flag that inspired Francis Scott Key's poem. (Sept. 12) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spinosaurus Could Be First Semi-Aquatic Dinosaur

Spinosaurus Could Be First Semi-Aquatic Dinosaur

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — New research has shown that the Spinosaurus, the largest carnivorous dinosaur, might have been just as well suited for life in the water as on land. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Meet Spinosaurus, the First-Known Water Dinosaur

Meet Spinosaurus, the First-Known Water Dinosaur

AFP (Sep. 11, 2014) — Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was adapted for both land and water, and an exhibit featuring a life-sized model, based on new fossils unearthed in eastern Morocco, opens at the National Geographic Museum in Washington on Friday. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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