NEWS BRIEFING: Kangaroos evolved in a big quick jump much later than we thought

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

*BRIEFING ONLINE on THU 4th OCT at 09:00 AEST* Modern kangaroos rapidly evolved and diversified much later than we thought, around 3 million years ago, in response to the spread of grasslands, according to Australian research. Previously it was thought that they evolved gradually as aridity slowly spread across the continent 12–5 million years ago. By studying the teeth of kangaroos and their ancestors from the last 25 million years, the researchers have found that the iconic 'Roo' actually has a remarkably recent origin compared with horses and other herbivores in the Northern Hemisphere.

Journal/conference: Science

Link to research (DOI): Paper available via EurekAlert!

Organisation/s: Flinders University

Funder: Australian Research Council grants to G.J.P. (DP110100726, FT130101728). A.M.C.C. was supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award.

Media Briefing/Press Conference

From: Australian Science Media Centre


  • Dr Aidan Couzens is from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Netherlands
  • Professor Gavin Prideaux is from Flinders University

Date: Thu 04 October 2018
Start Time: 09:00am AEST
Duration: Approx 30 min 
Venue: Online

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    Last Modified: 05 Oct 2018 4:01am

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