The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database

Procoptodon browneorum Merrilees, 1968



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Sthenurus brownei Merrilees, 1968 (original combination); Simosthenurus browneorum Merrilees, 1968; Simosthenurus brownei Merrilees, 1968


Conservation Status

Last record: Late Pleistocene


Provisionally placed in Procoptodon by most authors, it's true taxonomic affinities have not been settled. Subfossil remains have been reported from near Yanchep, Western Australia (Archer, 1972).

Subfossil remains of this species from a 33-27,000 year old layer have been uncovered from Tight Entrance Cave, southwestern Australia. However these may have been worked from older sedimentological levels, and further analysis is need to resolve their true age (Prideaux, 2007:17). There is a record from the nearby Kudjal Yolgah Cave dated to 46ka, which is securely dated. Hence a minimum extinction date of 46ka is established regardless of whether the 33-27ka record is valid or not.















Original scientific description:

Merrilees, D. (1968). Southwestern Australian occurrences of Sthenurus (Marsupialia, Macropodidae) including Sthenurus brownei sp. nov. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 50: 65-79.


Other references:

Archer, M. (1972). Phascolarctos (Marsupialia, Vombatoidea) and an Associated Fossil Fauna From Koala Cave Near Yanchep, Western Australia. Helictite 10(3): 49-59.

Ayliffe, L. K., G. J. Prideaux, M. I. Bird, R. Grün, R. G. Roberts, G. A. Gully, R. Jones, L. K. Fifield, and R. G. Cresswell. 2008. Age constraints on Pleistocene megafauna at Tight Entrance Cave in southwestern Australia. Quaternary Science Reviews 27: 1784-1788.

Balme, J. M., D. Merrilees, and J. K. Porter. 1978. Late Quaternary mammal remains, spanning about 30,000 years, from excavations in Devil's Lair, Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 61: 33-65.

Jankowski, N. R., Gully, G. A., Jacobs, Z., Roberts, R. G. and Prideaux, G. J. (2016). A late Quaternary vertebrate deposit in Kudjal Yolgah Cave, south‐western Australia: refining regional late Pleistocene extinctions. Journal of Quaternary Science 31(5): 538-550.

Johnson C. 2006 Australia's Mammal Extinctions A 50000 year history. Cambridge, Cambridge University 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. (1979). The prehistoric environment in Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 62(3 or 4): 109-128.

Pate, F. Donald, McDowell, Matthew C., Wells, Rod T. and Smith, Andrew M. (2002). Last recorded evidence for megafauna at Wet Cave, Naracoorte, South Australia 45,000 years ago. Australian Archaeology 54: 53-55.

Piper, K. J. 2006. A new species of Palorchestidae (Marsupialia) from the Pliocene and early Pleistocene of Victoria. Alcheringa Special Issue 1: 281-294.

Pledge, Neville S. (1990). The Upper Fossil Fauna of the Henschke Fossil Cave, Naracoorte, South Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum (Proceedings of the De Vis Symposium) 28(1): 247-262.

Prideaux, Gavin J. (2004). Systematics and evolution of the sthenurine kangaroos. University of California Publications in Geological Sciences 146:i-xviii, 1-623.

Prideaux, Gavin J. (2007). Megafauna, caves and climate: records from southern Australia. In: Cupper, M.L. & Gallagher S.J. (eds). Climate change or human impact? Australia's megafaunal extinction, Selwyn Symposium of the GSA Victoria Division, September 2007, Geological Society of Australia Extended Abstracts No. 79, p. 11-18.

Prideaux, G. J., R. G. Roberts, D. Megirian, K. E. Westaway, J. C. Hellstrom, and J. M. Olley. (2007). Mammalian responses to Pleistocene climate change in southeastern Australia. Geology 35: 33-36.

Prideaux, G. J. et al. (2010). Timing and dynamics of Late Pleistocene mammal extinctions in southwestern Australia. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107(51): 22157-22162.

Reed, E. H. (2006). In Situ Taphonomic Investigation of Pleistocene Large Mammal Bone Deposits from The Ossuaries, Victoria Fossil Cave, Naracoorte, South Australia. Helictite 39(1): 5-15. [subfossil record]

Reed, E. H. and Bourne, S. J. (2000). Pleistocene fossil vertebrate sites of the south east region of South Australia. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 124: 61-90.

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

Theden-Ringl, Fenja et al. (2020). Characterizing Environmental Change and Species’ Histories from Stratified Faunal Records in Southeastern Australia: A Regional Review and a Case Study for the Early to Middle Holocene. Records of the Australian Museum 72(5): 207-223.

Wells, Rod T., Moriarty, K. and Williams, D. L. G. (1984). The fossil vertebrate deposits of Victoria Fossil Cave Naracoorte: an introduction to the geology and fauna. The Australian Zoologist 21(4): 305-333.


<< Back to the Diprotodontia database