Thursday, 22 April 2010

Picture of the day; Procoptodon, a wierd semi primate kangaroo!

Here is an image by artist Peter Trusler of the 2 meter tall Australian Procoptodon. It was a strange kangaroo like creature that died out 15,000 years ago and was primarily a browser, capable of reaching 3 meters into the trees with its long clawed hands. It also had a short tail, probably used to prop it up when feeding, as well as monodactyl (functionally one toed) feet. The short face and foreword pointing eyes allowed Procoptodon to focus on a single point with both eyes, enabling it to manipulate food with its hands in a coordinated way.

Of course this critter hopped like modern kangaroos; its ankle bones were abnormally wide to stabilize its single toed foot and allow for greater surface area of the leg pulling tendons.

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