Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Riversleigh Ektopodontids  

The first discovery of Ektopodontids, Ektopodon serratus, was a tooth in the Leaf Formation of the Kutjamarpu Local Fauna in central Australia. The complicated construction of this tooth made it look as though it might be from a miltituberculate mammal that were known from much older deposits, but the orientation structures were in the opposite direction to those of multituberculates. Teeth of another ektopodontid, Chunia illuminata, were later found at Lake Palankarinna. These were of much simpler construction than the those of Ektopodon serratus. A nearly complete lower jaw of E. stirtoni was found in the Ngama Local Fauna in central Australia. They were then seen to be possums, possibly distantly related to phalangerids. Species of Chunia and Ektopodon were then found in the Oligocene-Miocene deposits of the Lake Frome Basin, and Darcius duggani was found in the Hamilton Local Local Fauna and a species from the Portland Local Fauna of Early Pleistocene age. They are now considered to have probably been seed-eaters.

The first ektopodontid from Riversleigh was found in the Wayne's Wok Local Fauna. It was Ektopodon sp. that was superficially similar to E. serratus. A molar from Chunia sp. was found in the Durk's Tower Site. Both of these were previously known only from central Australian deposits.

Sources & Further reading

Michael Archer, Suzanne J. Hand & Henk Godthelp, Australia's Lost World: Riversleigh, world heritage Site, Reed New Holland

Links

Australian Museum

Author: M. H. Monroe
Email:  admin@austhrutime.com
Last Updated 04/07/2009

 

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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email: admin@austhrutime.com     Sources & Further reading