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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 3 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||fabulous, fervent, Hippo-sized, outback, well-preserved, wombat, eaters, bony, kangaroo, opossum, strange, pouch, scientist, devil, skeleton, sealed
||King Kong, North America, Father Ken Boland, Father Boland, Nullarbor Plain, Operation Leo, These Mega Marsupials
By Colleen Messina
1 Strange animals hop across Australia today. Millions of years ago, strange animals also hopped across Australia. They really made the ground shake! Hippo-sized wombats, killer kangaroos, and giant lions made the Outback seem like a monster movie set. King Kong would have felt right at home!
2 These animals were marsupials. Marsupials are mammals that carry their young in a pouch. The only one in North America now is the opossum. Long ago, these odd prehistoric marsupials lived in the soggy forests of Australia. Australia had more marsupials than anywhere else. Maybe that is why they all got so big. You could call them mega-marsupials!
3 We know more about Australian mega-marsupials because of a man named Father Ken Boland. Father Boland liked to fly airplanes in his spare time. He flew over the vast, dry Nullarbor Plain. He noticed some weird hills below. Later, he struck gold, but it was not buried treasure. He found fabulous fossils! The fossils had been hidden for 1.5 million years. It was amazing that Father Boland found them. The Plain is as big as the state of Texas. Even though it had many caves, only a few had the right conditions for preserving fossils.
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