Lived: 1,600,000 - 40,000 years ago (Pleistocene)
Size: Height: 2 - 3m tall
Description: Take a Red Kangaroo, double its size, replace its paws with grappling hooks, give it bizarre feet each with a single hoof-like claw, then allow it to run at super-high speed face-first into a wall. The result should vaguely resemble a Giant Short-faced Kangaroo, the largest kangaroo to have existed - and one of the strangest.
The Giant Short-faced Kangaroo had a flat face and forward-pointing eyes. On each foot it had a single large toe something like a horse's hoof. On these unusual feet it moved quickly through the open forests and plains, where it sought grass and leaves to eat. Its hands were equally strange: each hand had two extra-long fingers with large claws. Perhaps they were used to grab branches, bringing leaves within eating distance.
The closest living relative of the Giant Short-faced Kangaroo is
probably the Banded Hare-wallaby (Lagostrophus fasciatus).
Fossils: Fossils of the Giant Short-faced Kangaroo have been found at the Naracoorte World Heritage fossil deposits in South Australia, Lake Menindee in New South Wales, Darling Downs in Queensland, and at many other sites.
Did you know? The Giant Short-faced Kangaroo is the largest kangaroo ever known. It weighed more than 200kg.