Diprotodon also known as the Giant Wombat or the Rhinoceros Wombat. Is the ancestor the Australian Mainland Common Wombat. The giant wombat is believed that it had existed 1.6 million
Source: The predicted look of a giant wombat
years ago . Around 40,000 years ago it was believed to be known as an extinct animal and fossils have been found since then. Studies have shown that the giant wombats have exitnct during the Pleistocene epoch mainly due to the following three factors:
- Geographical Changes
- Human hunting and land management
- Mythology

The following table shows the scientific classification of the Giant Wombat:


Research have shown that the descendants of the giant wombats are the hairy nosed wombats and the common wombats which can be still found nowadays. They have evolved into an different animal yet they still have some similarities and differences. Such as their sizes and their adaptations.

Structure (Labelled Diagram)
The giant wombat is also known as the rhinoceros wombat because of its body shape and size. The giant wombat is simply a large version of a wombat that is tougher and it can also be seen as a rhinoceros without a horn. The giant wombat also has fur but the fur they have in thicker . Giant wombats are usually range from being 3 metres long and 2 metres tall. The feet of the giant wombat have very sharp nails which can give them a better grip and yet give them a stronger digging device. The pouch is slightly different to the common wombat's because it an inward facing pouch like most animals have it is believed that the pouch has evolved into a back ward facing pouch because of the size change in the wombats. Some modern animals that are also this size are animals such african elephant,Zebra and the giant panda

The habitat of the giant wombat did not change alot over the years compared to the common wombat. But the many difference is that they do not live in mountinous and rocky regions. This is because of the size difference. They only live in woodlands, forests and scrubs. They need alot of cover from their habitat because of their large size. For example , in woodlands they can get alot of cover from all the trees and woods there. Living in these habitats they are in reach of water.

Unlike the common wombat they cannot live without water for very long because of the amount of water that is needed for them to stay active is many times more than the amout that the common wombats need.They would also be living on harder soil because of the fact that they do not need to ig burrows.Whereas the common wombats tend to inhabit in softer soil because they need to dig burrows.

Also the woodlands , forest and scrubs that the giant wombat stay in would need to be a bigger land mass compared to the habitats that the common wombats stay in and it would benefit them from there predators as well. As they move around different parts of Australia they would always find the same habitat to live and survive in this has not changed over the years as the giant wombat evolved into the common wombat but instead the common wombats cover less land so they are only found in the Southwest regions of Australia.

-Behavioral Adaptations (2)
- Adaptations that the animal does to help it survive and reproduce.
-Structural Adaptations(2)
- Physical features that help the animal to live and reproduce.
-Physiological Adaptations(1)
-Concerning the physical adaptation,metabolism or internal chemistry of the animal.

Behavioral Adaptation 1

The giant wombats' sleeping position is a behavioral adaptation that is believed to protect them and can give them warmth.
Source: Chloe Lam Sleeping Method diagram
They generally sleep in a curled up position that can protect them when their enemies are coming for attack and produce more warmth. This position allow them you stand up easily and they can run away or hide from their enemies very quickly because . Warmth is produced as they are curled up and the joey who is in the inward facing pouch can be in warmth during the cold winter as well. We do not know whether the giant wombats are nocturnal animals like the common wombats are but if they are their sleeping position would benefit them alot because they are larger in size if they sleep in a curled up position they can be seen as a large rock to other animals and have more protection. The giant wombats do not sleep in burrows because of the fact that their size is very different to the common wombats and their was just no need for them to do so. All because of the size difference, they were one of the biggest animals living in the habitat to they were the ones who would give threat to other animals that are predators to the common wombats now and many other animals.

Behavioral Adaptation 2

Source : Chloe Lam Attack Map
Giant wombats generally live in herds and they are in herds of few dozens as most. Being in herds give them protection and it also help them gather more food in less time. As these large animals go out in herds they scare off smaller animals and animals who have less individuals. This behavioral adaptation would help these herbivores survive without getting into a battle with other animals. They travel around hunting food in herds and they can have lots more protection comparing to traveling individually because again , of their large size and them traveling in herds. As they travel in herds in search for food and new habitat they do not forget the protection that their young needs. When they travel they would put there young either in their pouches or in the middle of the group which allows more protection . When their predators come and attack them the fully grown giant wombats would be attacked first, and the young would still have time to run away and save their own lives. This adaptation might have built up because of different environment pressure. The pressure can be from the climate, habitat and all the other animals.

Structural Adaptation 1

The giant wombat have also developed and have very strong and hands. The adaptation helps them alot because they would need a good grip for walking and for gathering food. They use their hands alot because they walk on all four of their hands/feet and this adaptation provide them with a better grip on ground. They also get better grip food and when gathering their food from the hard ground they need a strong grip. With the large and strong hand they can pull out roots of plants with minimum power which can also help them conserve energy. The fact that they have large and strong hands can protect them from their predators too. When they are attacked they can use their hands to push or fight back to them. This adaptation might have developed because of the environment change and then size of the animal itself.

Structural Adaptation 2

Giant wombats have very tough skin which can help them live a longer life even if they have minor cuts.When they walk through bushes and harsh areas they might get cut. Some animals do not have tough skin as the giant wombats do. The giant wombats would not get was cut easily as the other animals might but this also can protect them from other animals teeth and even when they get bitten by strong and sharp teeth their skin would be tougher and they would not get hurt as bad . Having stronger skin it also can protect their organs inside their bodies from any external damaged that can be caused by fighting or attacks from other animals. Their skin is mainly muscles from all the exercise they do which makes it even harder and it is another factor to causes there tough skin. The adaptation is built up because of the habitat that the giant wombats live in which is generally in woodlands and harsh conditions where they can get cut easily which explains why the animal would have this adaptation of building up tough skin.

Physiological Adaptation

Just like the common wombats the giant wombat do not go through hibernation. Going through hibernation for smaller animals might be a good thing but for animals that have the size as large as a giant wombat it is not a good thing at all. Going thorugh hibernation means that they would need to gather lots of food to to through the cold winter. There are many two reasons why the giant wombats do not go through hibernation :
- There is no need
- Their habitat is not that cold
When it is said there is no need for hibernation, it is meant that the animal simply do not need hibernation. As a structural adaptation it is said that the giant wombat has thick ,tough skin and this can keep them warm in the cold winter. Which the giant wombat can save time and have more time to do other things for example : moving to new habitats.
The giant wombats are found in Australia in during that time Australia did not have extreme cold weather which is another environmental factor that reflects on why the giant wombats did not need hibernation.

Extinction Pressure

The giant wombat is believed to be extinct because of the cilmate change mainly. The cilmate was getting hotter and hotter and their habitat was also changing. So the giant wombat extinction happened and human hunting was also another factor because the people back at the time did not have much food so having the giant wombat was also a food source for them. So the main three factors that caused the giant wombats to extinct as mentioned before are:

- Geographical Changes
- Human hunting and land management
- Mythology


BBC - Science & Nature - Wildfacts - Diprotodon. (2008, July 1). BBC - Homepage. Retrieved July 20, 2010, from (2003, October 20). Welcome to Retrieved July 22, 2010, from