Anja Taylor So I don't understand - if this is twenty thousand years, and the diprotodons were found at the bottom there...
I thought the diprotodons were about seventy thousand years old.
NARRATIONRemoving and preserving the bones is painstakingly laborious work. Assoc Prof Erick Bestland For example, you've got this dark brown band right in here.
And you know, my hunch is you probably had events that wiped out local populations and reduced the population, overall, to sizes where they became vulnerable to these other changes.
Dr Derek Muller So you think here, these diprotodons may have been part of a last stand? I think probably the last stand of the megafauna in this region, is of the order of seventy, eighty thousand years ago.
Assoc Prof Rod Wells Yes, it is, giant wombat-like creature would be a good description. Dr Aaron Camens So to find bones in this good a condition and this complete a skeleton is a real special treat for us. For example, the radius and ulna that we have down the front here, are still crossed like they would have been in real life. Dr Aaron Camens And the humerus that we removed, the upper arm bone was articulated with them. Anja Taylor So it's the bones that's the wow factor, but, really, it's the sediment that gives you the final clues to this puzzle, isn't it? I mean, it's very exciting to find fossils, but if you don't know what context the fossils are in, if you don't know how old they are, if you don't know where they sit in the package of strata, the package of layers, then they're really scientifically not that useful.
Dr Derek Muller So this skeleton you've got for us, it's essentially of a giant wombat-like creature, is that right? Assoc Prof Rod Wells It's the world's largest marsupial. Assoc Prof Rod Wells And here's a familiar bone here. NARRATIONThis second skeleton could prove particularly useful because it's almost complete. This particular specimen, what we would call some of these bones are articulated, so they're still in the position that they would be in, in real life. NARRATIONRod's enlisted the help of Dr Erick Bestland, a specialist in ancient soils.
Dr Nigel Spooner We are looking at getting a minimum age here, in practice. We're looking, really, at age of around forty-five to fifty thousand years or upwards with optical dating. Dr Nigel Spooner That's the minimum age it could be.