That's One Huge Wombat

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Everybody loves a giant ancient animal. It's even better when that animal is a marsupial with a funny name (like wombat). Today, Australian scientists announced that they'd discovered a giant ancient wombat. Here are the details:

This particular wombat is generally thought to be the largest marsupial to ever walk the Earth. They weighed nearly 7,000 pounds and were as much as 14 feet long. The new skeleton dates back to about two million years ago, but these creatures went extinct only recently, roughly 50,000 years ago.

The only thing that would be better than a giant wombat would be a marmot that size. The so-called giant marmot of the midwest, Paenemarmota barbouri, died out millions of years ago and weighed a measly 20 pounds.

Via io9.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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