Sthenurus stirlingi Wells & Tedford, 1995

Stirling's kangaroo (proposed)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


Last record: 75 ± 9 ka (Roberts et al. 2001)





Anatomy & Morphology

It weighed an estimated 150kg (Johnson & Prideaux, 2004:557) or 173kg (Johnson, 2006:19) or a mean 173 ± 26.8 (n=4, range 151–205kg) (Helgen et al., 2006).


Biology & Ecology

It was a browser (Johnson, 2006:19).



SAM P22533 (Helgen et al., 2006:303)

SAM P139340 (Helgen et al., 2006:303)

AMNH 117495 (Helgen et al., 2006:303)

AMNH 117496 (Helgen et al., 2006:303)

AMNH 117497 (Helgen et al., 2006:303)

AMNH 117498 (Helgen et al., 2006:303)






Original scientific description:

Wells, R. T. and Tedford, R. H. (1995). Sthenurus (Macropodidae: Marsupialia) from the Pleistocene of Lake Callabonna, South Australia. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 225: 1-111.


Other references:

Helgen, Kristofer M., Wells, Rod T., Kear, Benjamin P., Gerdtz, Wayne R. and Flannery, Timothy F. (2006). Ecological and evolutionary significance of sizes of giant extinct kangaroos. Australian Journal of Zoology 54(4): 293-303. [body weight estimate]

Johnson, Chris N. (2006). Australia's Mammal Extinctions: A 50 000 Year History. Port Melbourne, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. x + 278 pp. [p. 19]

Johnson, Chris N. and Prideaux, Gavin J. (2004). Extinctions of herbivorous mammals in the late Pleistocene of Australia in relation to their feeding ecology: no evidence for environmental change as cause of extinction. Australian Ecology 29: 553-557.

Murray, Peter F. and Chaloupka, G. (1984). The Dreamtime animals: Extinct megafauna in Arnhem Land rock art. Archaeology in Oceania 19(3):105-116. [possible depiction in ancient rock art]

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

Roberts, Richard G, Flannery, Timothy F., Ayliffe, Linda, Yoshida, Hiroyuki, Olley, Jon M., Prideaux, Gavin J., Laslett, Geoff M., Baynes, Alexander, Smith, M. A., Jones, Rhys I. and Smith, Barton L. (2001). New ages for the last Australian megafauna: Continent-wide extinction about 46,000 years ago. Science 292(5523): 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.

Tedford, R. H. and Wells Rod T. (1985). Sthenurus Owen, 1873: The Monodactyl Kangaroos, pp. 249-252. In: Vickers-Rich, Patricia and van Tets, Gerard Frederick. (eds.). Kadimakara: Extinct Vertebrates of Australia. Lilydale, Victoria: Pioneer Design Studio. 284 pp.


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