A new species of giant, carnivorous platypus has been discovered in a region of outback Queensland, Australia.
Scientists say the species, unofficially dubbed ‘platypus-zilla’, roamed Australian forests anywhere from five to fifteen million years ago and claim it grew to a terrifying meter in length; dwarfing the modern-day platypus at just 38 centimeters.
The identification was made by study leader Rebecca Pian of Columbia University in New York City, whose eye was caught by a tooth in a collection which was must bigger than of any known platypus species. “I said, ‘Wait a second, not only is it quite big, it’s quite different as well,’” she recounted.
Scientists have only ever identified four extinct species of platypus so this finding will surely help to bridge some of the gaps in its Swiss cheese fossil record. Pian continued to say that “the evolution of the platypus is potentially more complicated than we thought.”
The new species has been named Obdurodon tharalkooschild.
Sources: National Geographic