17 July 2006

Killer kangaroos, demon ducks

I’d seen articles about large killer reptiles found in Oz during early settlement, but now I probably understand why ’roos show up on the typical Crocodile Hunter video leadin: here is mention of kangaroo fossils found with big, sharp, well-anchored teeth and a galloping gait instead of a hop.

Because they didn't hop, these were galloping kangaroo, with big powerful forelimbs, some of them had long canines like wolves

...says Prof Mike Arthur, UNSW Dean of Science. So apparently, being kicked to bits wasn’t the biggest risk they exposed you to.

Dr Sue Hand also mentioned that:

these things had slicing crests that could have crunched through bone and sliced off flesh

Comforting words?

The investigators also found another meaning for the word “duck”:

Very big bird ... more like ducks, earned the name demon ducks of doom, some at least may have been carnivorous as well

So... demons rather than daemons? Sounds like Terry Pratchett’s book The Last Continent wasn’t as light-hearted as the included drop-bears may have helped it to appear.

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