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Procoptodon was a plus-sized ancestor of modern kangaroos (Wikimedia Commons)


Procoptodon (Greek for "forward hill tooth"); pronounced pro-COP-toe-don


Plains of Australia

Historical Epoch:

Pleistocene-Modern (2 million-10,000 years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 10 feet tall and 500 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; blunt snout; long front claws


About Procoptodon:

Everything came in bigger packages during the Pleistocene epoch, including ancestral marsupials. Procoptodon--also known as the Giant Short-Faced Kangaroo--was the biggest example of its family that ever lived, about 10 feet tall and weighing 500 pounds (about twice the size of an adult male human). Besides its size, Procoptodon hopped ahead of the kangaroo pack thanks to its unusually blunt snout (hence the "short-faced" part of its name) and its long arms with long-clawed hands, which it probably used to pull down the leaves of tall trees. As with most mammalian megafauna that survived into the last Ice Age, Procoptodon was hunted to death by early humans about 10,000 years ago (as was its fellow Australian marsupial Diprotodon, aka the Giant Wombat).

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