Phascolonus gigas (Owen, 1858)
Taxonomy & Nomenclature
Synonym/s: Phascolomys gigas Owen, 1858 (original combination); Sceparnodon stephensii Ramsay, 1880; Phascolomys magnus Murie, 1866
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).
Biology & Ecology
USNM 214696 (Tedford, 2002:39)
USNM 215139 (Tedford, 2002:39)
MF728/9 (Dawson, 1985:65)
Original scientific description:
Owen, Richard. (1858). Odontology. In: The Encyclopedia Britannica, or Dictionary of Arts, Sciences and General Literature. Eighth edition. 16: 447, 450, figure 80.
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Dawson, L. (1981). The Status of the Taxa of Extinct Giant Wombats (Vombatidae:Marsupialia) and a Consideration of Vombatid Phylogeny. Australian Mammalogy 4: 65-79.
Dawson, L. (1983). Largest of the wombats Phascolonus gigas, pp. 64–65. In: Quirk, S. and Archer, M. (eds.). Prehistoric animals of Australia. Sydney: Australian Museum.
Dawson, Lyndall. (1985). Marsupial fossils from Wellington Caves, New South Wales; the historic and scientific significance of the collections in the Australia Museum, Sydney. Records of the Australian Museum 37(2): 55-69.
Dodson, John et al. (1993). Humans and megafauna in a late Pleistocene environment from Cuddie Springs, north western New South Wales. Archaeology in Oceania 28(2): 94-99.
Flannery, Timothy F. (1984). Re-examination of the Quabun Local Fauna, A Late Cenozoic Vertebrate Fauna from Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 11(2): 119-128.
Glauert, Ludwig. (1912). Fossil marsupial remains from Balladonia in the Eucla Division. The Balladonia "Soak". Records of the Western Australian Museum 1(2): 47-65.
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Long, John et al. (2002). Prehistoric Mammals of Australia and New Guinea, One Hundred Million Years of Evolution. Sydney: University of NSW Press.
Louys, Julien. (2015). Wombats (Vombatidae: Marsupialia) from the Pliocene Chinchilla Sand, southeast Queensland, Australia. Alcheringa 39 (3): 394-406. [Abstract]
Lydekker, Richard. (1894). A Hand-Book to the Marsupialia and Monotremata. pp. 1-302.
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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.
Murray, P. F. (1998). Palaeontology and Paleobiology of Wombats, pp. 1-33. In: Wells, Roderick T. and Pridmore, P. A. (eds.). Wombats. Chipping Norton, New South Wales: Surrey Beatty and Sons in association with the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia.
Owen, Richard. (1872a). On the Fossil Mammals of Australia, Part VII: Genus Phascolomys:Species Exceeding the Existing Ones in Size. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 162: 241-258, plates 32-40.
Owen, Richard. (1872b). On the fossil mammals of Australia. Pr. IV. Genus Phascolomys, Geoffr. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 172: 173-96. [incorrect citation?]
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Ramsay, E. P.1880. [Untitled.] The Sydney Morning Herald, 13286, 30 October 1880, page 5, column 4. [citation taken directly from (Tedford, 2002:47)]
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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.
Stephenson, N. G. (1963). Growth gradients among fossil monotremes and marsupials. Palaeontology 6(4): 615-624.
Stephenson, N. G. (1964). On fossil giant wombats and the identity of Sceparnodon ramsayi. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 142: 537-546. [Abstract]
Stirling, Edward Charles. (1913). Fossil remains of Lake Callabonna. Part IV. 1. Description of some further remains of Genyornis newtoni, Stirling and Zietz. 2. On the identity of Phascolomys (Phascolonus) gigas, Owen, and Sceparnodon ramsayi, Owen, with a description of some of its remains. Memoirs of the Royal Society of South Australia 1: 111-178, pis. XXXV-LVII.
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.
Tedford, Richard H. (1994). Lake Callabonna: 'Veritable necropolis of gigantic extinct marsupials and birds'. Abstracts of the fourth conference on Australian vertebrate evolution, palaeontology and systematics, Adelaide, 19-21 April, 1993. Records of the South Australian Museum 1994. [Abstract]
Tedford, Richard H. (2002). The Basicranium of the Giant Wombat. Phascolonus gigas Owen (Vombatidae: Marsupialia) and Its Significance in Phylogeny. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 93: 39-47.
Tedford, R. H., and R. T. Wells. (1990). Pleistocene deposits and fossil vertebrates from the Dead Heart of Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 28: 263-284.
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]