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Megalibgwilia owenii Krefft, 1868

Owen's echidna (proposed)

 

 

Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Echidna owenii Krefft, 1868; Echidna oweni Krefft, 1868; Tachyglossus oweni Krefft, 1868; Megalibgwilia ramsayi Owen, 1884; Echidna robusta Dun, 1895; Zaglossus robusta Dun, 1895; Proechidna robusta Dun, 1895

 

Conservation Status

Extinct

Last recorded from the Late Pleistocene

 

Distribution

Australia

 

"M. owenii is known...from various localities throughout New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia (Murray 1978b, Griffiths et al. 1991, Turney et al. 2008, Prideaux et al. 2010)."

(Flannery et al., 2022)

 

"The extinct tachyglossid Megalibgwilia owenii had a wide distribution from near-coastal localities at Mammoth Cave in southwestern Western Australia (Glauert 1910), Henschke’s Quarry in the Naracoorte Caves system of South Australia (Murray 1978b, Pledge 1990), Strathdownie and other caves in southwestern Victoria (Gill 1957, Murray 1978b), and King Island (Scott & Lord 1921) and Montagu Cave in Tasmania (Murray 1978a)."

(Flannery et al., 2022)

 

Biology & Ecology

"The published linear limb bone measurements of Megalibgwilia spp. overlap with those of Zaglossus spp., suggesting a similar body mass for both genera (Murray 1978b)."

(Flannery et al., 2022)

 

Hypodigm

Q.V.M. 13 or 1965:39:5 (Flannery et al., 2022)

 

"M. owenii is known from a partial associated skeleton along with referred material from various localities throughout New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia (Murray 1978b, Griffiths et al. 1991, Turney et al. 2008, Prideaux et al. 2010)."

(Flannery et al., 2022)

 

Media

 

 

References

Original scientific description:

Krefft, Gerard. (1868). On the discovery of a new and gigantic fossil species of Echidna in Australia. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 1: 113-114.

 

Other references:

Flannery, Timothy F., Rich, Thomas H., Vickers-Rich, Patricia, Ziegler, Tim, Veatch, Grace and Helgen, Kristofer M. (2022). A review of monotreme (Monotremata) evolution. Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology 46(1): 3-20. https://doi.org/10.1080/03115518.2022.2025900

Gill, E. D. (1957). The ancestors of our marsupials. The Australian Amateur Mineralogist 3: 80-81.

Glauert, Ludwig. (1910). The Mammoth Cave. Records of the West Australian Museum 1: 9-30.

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

Griffiths, M., Wells, Rod T. and Barrie, D. J. (1991). Observations on the skulls of fossil and extant echidnas (Monotremata: Tachyglossidae). Australian Mammalogy 14: 87-101.

Helgen, Kristofer M., Miguez, Roberto Portela, Kohen, James L. and Helgen, Lauren E. (2012). Twentieth century occurrence of the Long-Beaked Echidna Zaglossus bruijnii in the Kimberley region of Australia. Zookeys (255): 103-132.

Murray, P. F. (1978a). A Pleistocene spiny anteater from Tasmania (Monotremata: Tachyglossidae, Zaglossus). Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 112: 39-67.

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

Pledge, Neville S. (1990). The upper fossil fauna of the Henschke fossil cave, Naracoorte, South Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 28: 247-262.

Prideaux, G. J., Gully, G. A., Couzens, A. M. C., Ayliffe, L. K., Jankowski, N. R., Jacobs, Z., Roberts, R. G., Hellstrom, J. C., Gagan, M. K. and Hatcher, L. M. (2010). Timing and dynamics of Late Pleistocene mammal extinctions in southwestern Australia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 107: 22157-22162.

Scott, H. H. and Lord, C. E. (1921). Studies in Tasmanian mammals, living and extinct. Number V. Zaglossus harrissoni, sp. nov. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1921: 13-15.

Stephenson, N. G. (1963). Growth gradients among fossil monotremes and marsupials. Palaeontology 6(4): 615-624.

Turney, C. S. M., Flannery, T. F., Roberts, R. G., Reid, C., Fifield, L. K., Higham, T. F. G., Jacobs, Z., Kemp, N., Colhoun, E. A., Kalin, R. M. and Ogle, N., (2008). Late-surviving megafauna in Tasmania, Australia, implicate human involvement in their extinction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105: 12150-12153.

 

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