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 Living Animals
Extinct Animals
Diet
Habitat

Extinct Animals- Phascolarctos stirtoni

Size comparison of human and Phascolarctos stirtoni

Class: Mammalia
Supercohort:Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Phascolarctidae
Genus & Species: Phascolarctos stirtoni

 

Phascolarctos stirtoni

During the Pleistocene period the Giant Koala Phascolarctos stirtoni occupied the same arboreal niche as the modern Koala. 

Teeth of extinct and modern Koalas
The teeth of the modern Koala (left) and a cast of teeth of the extinct Giant Koala (right) show great similarity
As the common name suggests, Phascolarctos stirtoni is about one third larger than its modern equivalent.

However, apart from the variation in size, there appear to be fewer other differences between the species and some scientists suggest that the modern Koala is really only a dwarfed form of the Pleistocene species.

 

 

Model of Phascolarctos stirtoni

Model of Phascolarctos stirtoni

Although the range of the modern koala still extends over much of eastern and south-eastern Australia, it once extended to south western Western Australia.

Like many of the other larger Pleistocene marsupials, the Giant Koala has been extinct for about 50,000 years.

 

 

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This page was last modified 2006-08-16
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