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Digging up the Diprotodon

Full Day
Book Program
Year Levels


Megafauna are big (mega) animals (fauna). These are animals that lived in Australia up to 100,000 years ago. They were at least 30% larger than any of their extant relatives. There is significant dispute as to whether the megafauna became extinct due to predation by humans or due to climate change.
The Diprotodon, the largest marsupial believed to have ever lived, was the first fossil mammal described from Australia in 1838. Fossil Diprotodon skulls have since been found in Bacchus Marsh, and are currently on display at Museum Victoria. 
Ecolinc is currently showcasing casts on trackways featuring footprints on the Diprotodon, the giant kangaroo and giant wombat. The trackways were constructed by Museum Victoria and are currently on loan from Federation University.
The Ecolinc Geological Trail features a range of boulders from the Ordovician 444-488 mya) to Quaternary (0-2.6 mya) time periods. One contains a fossil plant leaf, which gives an indication of the climate at the time. 
Maximum number of students for this program is 50 per day.
This program is available on the following dates:
  • Term 1 from Monday Mon 22nd – Fri 26th  March
  • Term 4 from Mon 22nd  – Fri 26th November.

Key Learning Question

How do palaeontologists use evidence to learn about megafauna and how earth has changed over time?

Learning Intentions

In this program students will:

  • Understand and predict how megafauna became extinct.
  • Examine a range of fossil evidence and understand how this can unlock our understanding of the megafauna and their habitat.
  • Understand how rocks are indicators of how the earth’s surface changes over time.


Students will:

  • Adopt a ‘rolling stone’ from the Ecolinc Geological Trail to investigate its origins and unlock its secrets.
  • Examine megafauna trackways and discover who passed this way.
  • Become part of the archeological team that uncovers megafauna fossils and solves the puzzle of their origin

Note: This program is strictly 10am-2.30pm and cannot be shortened in time.

Learn Online

Ecolinc Learn Online is a virtual outreach learning management system (LMS) offering interactive online courses for students and teachers. These courses can be undertaken either as a pre-visit, post-visit or stand-alone.

Students are encouraged to do the post-learning course on Ecolinc Learn Online called Digging Deeper: What happened to the Diprotodon after coming to Ecolinc.

Victorian Curriculum

  • Science knowledge helps people understand the effects of their actions (VCSSU056)
  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (VCSSU057).