Obdurodon tharalkooschild

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Obdurodon tharalkooschild
Temporal range: Middle to Upper Miocene, 15–5 Ma
Scientific classification
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O. tharalkooschild
Binomial name
Obdurodon tharalkooschild
Pian et al., 2013[1]

Obdurodon tharalkooschild is an extinct species of platypus in the genus Obdurodon. It is known from a single tooth found at the Miocene-aged Two Tree Site fossil beds in Riversleigh in Queensland, Australia.[2][3]

The tooth was discovered in 2012 by a team from the University of New South Wales including Mike Archer, Suzanne Hand, and Rebecca Pian.[4]

The species was present in the middle and upper Miocene (5–15 million years ago). Due to wear on the tooth suggestive of crushing hard shells (such as those of turtles), O. tharalkooschild is believed to have been carnivorous and estimated to be twice the size of the modern platypus at one metre long. The specific name was chosen in honour of an indigenous Australian creation story for the platypus, where a duck named Tharalkoo gives birth to a chimeric creature after being ravished by a rakali.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rebecca Pian, Michael Archer & Suzanne J. Hand (2013). "A new, giant platypus, Obdurodon tharalkooschild, sp. nov. (Monotremata, Ornithorhynchidae), from the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, Australia". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 33 (6): 1255–1259. doi:10.1080/02724634.2013.782876.
  2. ^ Dell'Amore, Christine (November 4, 2013). "Giant Platypus Found, Shakes Up Evolutionary Tree". National Geographic.
  3. ^ AFP (2013-11-05). "Extinct 'Godzilla' platypus found in Australia - Yahoo News UK". Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Giant extinct toothed platypus discovered". UNSW Newsroom. 5 November 2013.