Extinct Roos were Made for Walking

October 16, 2014 11:09 AM

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Imagine that a time machine has transported you to the Australian outback 100,000 years ago. As you emerge, you see a huge kangaroo with a round rabbit-like face foraging in a tall bush nearby. The animal's surprising size makes you gasp aloud but when it hears you, becoming equally unnerved, it doesn't hop or lumber away on all fours and tail like every kangaroo you've seen in the present. It walks on its feet. One at a time. Like you.

In a new paper in the journal PLoS ONE, a team of researchers led by Christine Janis, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown Univ., posits that the Pleistocene members of the now extinct family of sthenurine kangaroos were likely bipedal walkers. The scientists make their case based ...

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