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Scientists have discovered that the giant roo was the victim of man's intervention, rather than extinction by climate change.

The Procoptodon, which was a giant version of today's kangaroo, standing at around 2 metres tall with a shorter face.

Researchers in Tasmania have discovered evidence that the animals died out around the same time that humans arrived in Australia 130,000 years ago.

It all comes down to a living record of fungus spores found in the droppings of the long-dead animals.

Professor Johnson from the Tasmania School of Zoology said that the spores "create a historical record of the abundance of very large herbivores in the environment"

"Pollen and charcoal particles are trapped in the same sediments, so that it is possible to match up the history of abundance of large herbivores with changes in vegetation and fire"

Pinning the blame squarely on man, the Johnson said "the abundance of large mammals was stable until just before 40,000 years ago, when it suddenly crashed...extinctions followed very soon after the time that people arrived in the region - so it seems that people did it."

The unusual creature was one of Australia's many weird and wonderful creations - each foot of the Procoptodon featured just one big toe on which they hopped around.

However, some studies suggest that the species may have still been alive up to 16,000 years ago. Fossilised remains of the short-faced mega roo have been South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales.


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Giant kangaroos were killed off by humans, not climate change
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