The discovery of a remarkable 15-million-year-old Australian fossil limestone cave packed with even older animal bones has revealed almost the entire life cycle of a large prehistoric marsupial, from suckling young in the pouch still cutting their milk teeth to elderly adults.
UNSW researchers have found hundred's of fossils of the marsupial Nimbadon lavarackorum. Other fossils were also found, such as kangaroos, bandicoots, etc.
Details of the find is published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, by a team led by Dr Karen Black, of the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences.
"The animals appear to have plunged to their deaths through a vertical cave entrance that may have been obscured by vegetation and acted as a natural pit-fall trap. These animals - including mothers with pouch young - either unwittingly fell to their deaths or survived the fall only to be entombed and unable to escape."