Tag Archives: South Australia

Bettongia pusilla McNamarra

Nullabor Dwarf Bettong (Bettongia pusilla)

The Nullabor Dwarf Bettong was described in 1997 based on subfossil skeletal remains that were found in caves on the Nullabor Plain, an large arid desert region in southern Australia.

The species apparently disappeared shortly after the arrival of European settlers in the region, who brought with them cats and foxes which preyed upon the native mammals and still do so up to this day.


The native people of the Pilbara region allegedly have two names for a very small kangaroo species, weelba respectively wirlpa, which may have originally been used for this species. [1]



[1] Chris Johnson: Australia’s Mammal Extinctions: a 50000 year history. Cambridge University Press 2006


Photo from: ‘J. A. McNamarra: Some smaller macropod fossils of South Australia. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 117: 97-106. 1997’

(under creative commons license (3.0))


edited: 29.05.2019

Perameles eremiana Spencer

Desert Bandicoot (Perameles eremiana)

The Desert Bandicoot, described in 1897, was restricted to the arid center of Australia; the natives there knew it by many names including karitjarrikarl-karlkililpinganngarrpanyirnmiwalilya or warralyarri.

The nocturnal and flesh-eating species inhabited dry, sandy areas covered with spinifex (Spinifex spp.) and other tussock grasses; it fed upon beetle larvae, termites and ants, especially honey-pot ants.

The Desert Bandicoot disappeared most likely due to predation by feral cats and Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes (L.)) introduced from Europe; the last sighting took place in 1943 in Western Australia, according to some natives it may have survived into the 1960s. [1]



[1] Andrew A. Burbridge; Ken A. Johnson; Phillip J. Fuller; R. I. Southgate: Aboriginal knowledge of the mammals of the central deserts of Australia. Australian Wildlife Research 15: 9-39. 1988


Photo: David Staples


edited: 24.02.2024