Australia's Vanished Beasts

  • By Peter Tyson
  • Posted 05.01.07
  • NOVA

The marsupial lion is just one of numerous megafauna, or "big animals," that once lived in Australia. All of them are gone, rendered extinct under still mysterious circumstances sometime after humans first arrived on the continent some 50,000 or 60,000 years ago. In this slide show, see evocative illustrations of some of these extinct wonders as they might have appeared when alive, and find out what made them stand out.

Launch Interactive Printable Version

A 25-foot lizard. A carnivorous kangaroo. See these and other extinct animals.

Peter Tyson is editor in chief of NOVA Online.


Image Credits

by Frank Knight originally for Kadimakara: Extinct Vertebrates of Australia, P. V. Rich and G. F. van Tets, editors (Pioneer Design Studio, Melbourne, Australia, 1985, and Princeton University Press, 1991), used with permission of the copyright holders, P. V. Rich and F. Knight

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