The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database

Zaglossus hacketti Glauert, 1914:244

Hackett's giant echidna, Hackett's echidna



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Zaglossus hackettii Glauert, 1914:244


Conservation Status

Last record c. 38,000 BC?



Western Australia, Australia



A species of echidna which was apparently more upright in its posture than living echidnas, on account of its much longer limb bones (Glauert, 1914). It is invariably described as being the size of a sheep, with Wikipedia citing an estimate of 100kg. However, Johnson (2006) gave a far more modest estimate of 30kg.



Only known from fragmentary remains including "atlas vertebra, the clavicles and episternum, the pelvic girdle, two femora, a tibia and a radius" (Glauert, 1914). All known material is believed to be in the WA Museum's collection.






Original scientific description:

Glauert, Ludwig. (1914). The Mammoth Cave (continued). Records of the Western Australian Museum 1(3): 244-251.


Other references:

Glauert, Ludwig. (1948). The cave fossils of the South-West. Western Australian Naturalist 1: 100-104.

Johnson, Chris. (2006). Australia's Mammal Extinctions: A 50,000 year history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Long, Archer, Flannery and Hand. (2002). Prehistoric Mammals of Australia and New Guinea. UNSW press.

Mahoney, J. A. and Ride, W. D. L. (1975). Index to the genera and species of fossil Mammalia described from Australia and New Guinea between 1838 and 1968. Western Australian Museum Special Publication 6: 1-250.

McNamara, K. J., Long, John A. and and Brimmell, K. (1991). Catalogue of type fossils in the Western Australian Museum. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement No. 39: 1-106.

McNamara, Ken and Murray, Peter. (2010). Prehistoric Mammals of Western Australia. Welshpool, WA: Western Australian Museum. 107 pp.

Merrilees, D. (1968). South-western Australian occurrences of Sthenurus (Marsupialia, Macropodidae), including Sthenurus brownei sp. novo J. Proc. R: Soc. West. Aust. 50: 65-79.

Murray, P. F. (1978). Late Cenozoic monotreme anteaters. Australian Zoologist 20(1): 29-55.

Murray, P. F. (1984). Extinctions downunder: a bestiary of extinct Australian late Pleistocene monotremes and marsupials, pp. 600-628. In: Martin, P. S. and Klein, R. G. (eds.). Quaternary Extinctions: A Prehistoric Revolution. Tuscon, Arizona: University of Arizona Press.

Price, G. J. et al. (2011). Dating megafaunal extinction on the Pleistocene Darling Downs, eastern Australia: The promise and pitfalls of dating as a test of extinction hypotheses. Quat. Sci. Rev. 30(7-8): 899-914.

Roberts R., Flannery T., Ayliffe L., Yoshida H., Olley J., Prideaux G., Laslett G., Baynes A., Smith M., Jones R.I., et al. 2001 New ages for the last Australian megafauna: Continent-wide extinction about 46,000 years ago. Science 292, 1888-1892.

Smith F.A., Lyons S.K., Ernest S.K.M., Jones K.E., Kaufman D.M., Dayan T., Marquet P.A., Brown J.H., Haskell J.P. 2003. Body mass of late Quaternary mammals. Ecology 84(12), 3403-3403.


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