The type specimen is an exceptionally well preserved skull, one of the most intact fossil skulls to be excavated from Riversleigh. Physically, it would have looked much like a modern platypus, although significant differences are few . |. Tuesday, November 05, 2013. Unlike the platypus which forages on the lakebed, Obdurodon may have foraged in the water column or surface. Obdurodon is an extinct monotreme genus containing four species. From measurements of the molar, the scientists have estimated the animal grew to be about 1 meter long (3.3 feet), which is twice the size of a modern platypus, and larger than the previously largest-known platypus ancestor, Obdurdon dicksoni. The diet is likely to have been crustacea, the water borne larvae of insects, or perhaps small vertebrates like fish and frogs. The wear patterns on the tooth are suggestive of crushing, perhaps by consuming hard-shelled animals such as turtles, rather than using a shearing action. Because of this, scientists believe that O. tharalkooschild was carnivorous. 2013. Giant Mammal and Megafauna Pictures and Profiles. Obdurodon tharalkooschild: Largest Fossil Platypus Found in Miocene Neogene Australia [6], The tooth was placed into the newly erected genus Obduron when described in 1975 by American palaeontologists Michael O. Woodburne and Richard H. Tedford. A newly discovered species of three-foot-long (one-meter-long) platypus, dubbed Obdurodon … The inset shows its first lower molar. [12] The description, published in the same year, was the fourth species of the family Ornithorhynchidae to be described, the second from the Riversleigh site, and estimated to have been the largest. It also indicates something even more critical: the platypus family tree had branches. 2013. [1], O. insignis is thought to have had a similar build to the modern platypus. Toothed platypuses, Monotrematum sudamericanum, lived in what is now South America until 61 million years ago. [5], Obdurodon tharalkooschild is an extinct species of monotreme in the genus Obdurodon. … Until now, all ornithorhynchid material recovered from Riversleigh, despite variation in size (Archer et al., 1992; Musser and Archer, 1998), has been referred to … O. dicksoni's beak has an oval hole surrounded by bones in the center, whereas the platypus' beak has a V-shape and no longer surrounded by bones. Obdurodon is a genus of extinct monotreme. The animal resembled the related modern platypus Ornithorhynchus but, unlike the platypus, had a bill that possessed molars as an adult. not interpreted as evidence that Ob. Bibliographic information: Pian R et al. A giant one—and that's just what researchers have found. They appeared much like their modern day relative the platypus, except adults retained their molar teeth. It grew from it's already enormous size to even bigger, and soon started to rule the seas and coast. [13][7] A philosophical examination of historical sciences such as palaeontology, published in 2018, uses the tooth of this platypus as an example of the results obtainable by multiple methods of research into traces of evidence; the author refers to the species by the vernacular "platyzilla".[14]. 801 284. tharalkooschild and other species of Obdurodon. The specific name, tharalkooschild, honors an Indigenous Australian creation story about the origin of the platypus. Obdurodon tharalkooschild is believed to have been carnivorous and estimated to be twice the size of the modern platypus at one metre long. They lose them as they grow up and they are never replaced. A new, giant platypus, Obdurodon tharalkooschild, sp. The size and eating habits of the new species, named Obdurodon tharalkooschild, were later determined from a detailed study of the size, shape and function of the tooth. The species was estimated to have been present in the middle and upper Miocene (5–15 million years ago). Obdurodon tharalkooschild Pian et al. Science Advances. The specific name was chosen in honour of an indigenous Australian creation story for the platypus, where a duck named Tharalkoo gives birth to a chimeric creature after being ravished by a rakali. ", This page was last edited on 15 November 2020, at 11:42. The species diet is assumed to have included crustacea like those consumed by the modern platypus, although larger species were available due to its greater size. Bibliographic information: Pian R et al. Obdurodon tharalkooschild is thought to have inhabited fresh water and hunted for a variety of animal prey in the forests that dominated the Riversleigh site at the time of deposition. The species was published in 1992 by Michael Archer, F. A. Jenkins, S. J. 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