Ambulator keanei

Ambulator keanei was a large diprotodontid from the Pliocene of Australia. This species stood around 1 m tall at the shoulder and weighed about 262 kg.

Comparative studies on the limbs of this species suggest that is was particularly well-suited to energy-efficient graviportal walking in comparison to earlier diprotodontids. Pliocene Diprotodontids like A. keanei may have evolved this adaptation as Australia was getting drier and saw an increase in open grasslands. Ambulator keanei would have had to travel longer distances to obtain water and the soft leafy vegetation that was its preferred food.

The fossils that can be viewed here are all from the holotype specimen, from Keane Quarry, Lake Palankarinna, South Australia. Check below to view more fossils from the holotype, and from an articulated pes with soft tissue impressions inside the rock (SAMA P54742).

Specimen number: SAMA P13844
Significance of specimen: Holotype
Geological age: Pliocene
State/territory: South Australia
Locality/site: Keane Quarry, Lake Palankarinna

Ambulator keanei
A hypothesised silhouette of Ambulator keanei showing known skeletal elements. Image by Jacob van Zoelen, author provided.

Skeletal element: Maxilla

Skeletal element: Mandible