A new genus of kangaroo (Marsupialia, Macropodidae) from the late Pleistocene of Papua New Guinea

Isaac A. R. Kerr, Gavin J. Prideaux

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The extinct macropodine kangaroo, Protemnodon nombe, was first described in 1983 on the basis of two partial dentaries from a late Pleistocene deposit in Nombe Rockshelter, Papua New Guinea. As part of a review of Protemnodon, we noted that P. nombe differed from other members of the genus in several ways that pointed to a position outside of that genus and indeed all other known macropodine genera. The taxon possesses a unique combination of attributes of the dentary and lower dentition, including lower molars with a slight postmetacristid, a small postprotocristid and a gently S-shaped protolophid crest. The proportions of masticatory muscle insertion areas, including a broad masseteric canal for the deep masseter, resemble those of sthenurines, suggesting adaptation to tougher browsed vegetation than other New Guinean macropodines. A parsimony analysis suggests a divergence near the base of the Macropodinae, potentially in the early late Miocene. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-318
Number of pages24
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of South Australia
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Macropodidae
  • New Guinea
  • Nombe Rockshelter
  • phylogeny
  • Protemnodon
  • taxonomy


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