A new type of platypus has been discovered in Queensland.
This one has teeth, is carnivorous and twice the size of the soft billed types found in rivers.
However, you’re not likely to come across this platypus on the next camping trip. This one is extinct and is likely to have lived up to 15 million years ago
Named Obdurodon tharalkooschild, the one-metre creature was identified from a highly distinctive tooth found in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area of Queensland.
The discovery was made by Rebecca Pian, a PhD candidate at Columbia University and former University of New South Wales (UNSW) Honours student, and Professor Mike Archer and Associate Professor Suzanne Hand of the UNSW School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences.
Their study is published in the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology.
“A new platypus species, even one that is highly incomplete, is a very important aid in developing understanding about these fascinating mammals,” says Ms Pian, the lead author.
Scientists believe the giant platypus probably fed on freshwater crustaceans and small animals such as lungfish, frogs and small turtles.
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