Zygomaturus trilobus - large wombat-like diprotodontid

(Zygomatic) prominent cheek arches, (trilobate) three-lobed snout

This giant animal was one of the largest marsupials to have ever lived, with the only known larger species being its relative, the Diprotodon. Zygomaturus inhabited the wooded coastal regions of the country, perhaps preferring a wetter, swampy environment.

With its tusk-like incisors it could grasp whole plants, dig them out of the ground with its strong claws and feed on the stems, roots and tubers. It was as big and heavy as a bull, weighing 500 kg or more and standing about 1.5 m tall and 2.5 m long.

Zygomaturus had a massive head, with huge arching cheek bones and widely flared nasal bones which may have supported small horn like structures.

Fossils of this odd-looking herbivore have been found in the South West region with no less than 20 individuals found in the Mammoth Cave deposit.

The jawbone of a Zygomaturus can still be seen in Mammoth Cave in its original location nestled under a flowstone (crystal) ledge. This jawbone is dated at around 50,000 years old, making this individual one of the last of its kind because along with the rest of the megafauna, Zygomaturus had become extinct by 46,000 years ago.

zygomaturus trilobus