Migrating Marsupials of the Pleistocene – #365papers – 2018 – 44

Price, Ferguson, Webb, Feng, Higgins, Nguyen, Zhao, Joannes-Boyau, and Louys, 2017, Seasonal migration of marsupial megafauna in Pleistocene Sahul (Australia-New Guinea): Proceedings of the Royal Society B, v. 284: 20170785

What’s it about?

Seasonal migrations are seen in many large mammals. In modern animals, however, such migrations are not observed in marsupials. The authors put together geochemical data from rocks and fossil to show that the massive wombat-like extinct marsupial Diprotodon migrated seasonally as far as 100 km each way.

Why does it matter?

Presented in the paper is a combination of geochemical techniques that, while not new, can be used together to make inferences about the fairly complex behavior of seasonal migration. This paper also presents evidence that while modern marsupials do not migrate, long-extinct marsupials did.

Why did I read this?

*sheepish grin*

My name’s on the paper. But I re-read it for #365papers because it had been a while…

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