Phascolonus gigas (Owen, 1858)
Taxonomy & Nomenclature
Synonym/s: Phascolomys gigas Owen, 1858 (original combination); Sceparnodon stephensii Ramsay, 1880; Phascolomys magnus Murie, 1866; Sceparnodon ramsayi Owen, 1884
Originally described as Phascolomys gigas Owen, 1858 it was subsequently transferred to the genus Phascolonus (Owen, 1872a,b; Lydekker, 1894).
Last record: Late Pleistocene
New South Wales (Wellington Caves) & South Australia (Lake Callabonna), Australia
So far most reported remains of P. gigas have come from Lake Callabonna, South Australia (Stirling, 1913; Tedford, 2002; Wells & Tedford, 1995). Exceptions include early material from the Wellington Caves (Dawson, 1985) and from the Pliocene of the Chinchilla Local Fauna in south-eastern Queensland (Louys, 2015).
Anatomy & Morphology
It weighed an estimated 200kg (Johnson & Prideaux, 2004:557; Johnson, 2006:20).
Biology & Ecology
It ate grass (Johnson, 2006:20).
USNM 214696 (Tedford, 2002:39)
USNM 215139 (Tedford, 2002:39)
MF728/9 (Dawson, 1985:65)
Original scientific description:
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MURIE, J. (1866). On the identity of the hairy-nosed wombat (Phascolomys lasiorhinus, Gould) with the broad-fronted wombat (P. latifrons, Owen), with further observations on the several species of this genus. Proc. zool. Soc. Lond. 1865 : 838-54, pi. 47.
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Stirling, Edward Charles and Zietz, Amandus Heinrich Christian. (1899). Preliminary notes on Phascolonus gigas, Owen [Phascolomys (Phascolonus) gigas, Owen] and its identity with Sceparnodon ramsayi Owen. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 23: 123-135.
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Wells, Roderick T. and Tedford, Richard H. (1995). Sthenurus (Macropodidae: Marsupialia) from the Pleistocene of Lake Callabonna, South Australia. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 225: 1-112. [two partial skeletons of P. gigas were excavated from Lake Callabonna in 1970]