Megafauna

Prehistoric giants from the Darling Downs

When dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago, some fascinating animals did survive — many of them giants. These huge reptiles and marsupials, called 'megafauna', roamed the countryside right here on Queensland’s Darling Downs where their remains have been found at more than 50 sites.

Although they too were doomed to disappear by around 10,000 years ago, their remains tell us a lot about what they looked like and how they behaved.

Go back to the Pleistocene epoch on the Downs, from 1.8 million to around 10,000 years ago, and take a look at some remains of these bizarre creatures.

Megafauna on display are:

The left femur and right ulna of a Diprotodon - this marsupial, which was the size of a rhinoceros, is the largest marsupial ever discovered.

A large scale model of a Megalania - the largest goanna that ever lived, reaching up to five metres in length and weighing up to 500 kilograms. 

A cast of the head of a Ninjemys Oweni - a large, extinct, giant horned turtle that is a land-living herbivore with a horned head and club tail purely for defence.

The skull of a Thylacoleo canifex - the largest ever marsupial predator, which is around the size of a leopard with powerful jaws with enormous shearing cheek teeth for slicing flesh.