The Iris Post

Obituary of Don Tom the Diprotodon

By Iris W T2

Diprotodon optatum

Lived 2 million to 46 thousand years ago

During the Pleistocene Epoch

Don “Donnie” Tom the Diprotodon optatum was an amazing individual, and a model giant wombat. He was quite the ladies’ man, mating with many females and siring lots of small giant wombats. He lived peacefully with his family of eleven other Diprotodons, though for part of the year he stayed with other manly wombats. The Diprotodons would stay on the plains, savannas and open woodlands of Australia. Unfortunately, his happy life was cut short when indigenous Australians killed him for food and fur. You see, he was quite large, at almost 4 meters long and 2 meters wide, and he was covered with fur. His family, already struggling because of habitat loss, was devastated by his death. Sadly, they then succumbed to habitat loss and climate change.

Don Tom was a gentle giant. He was a herbivore and peacefully browsed through shrubs with his fellow diprotodons. He would also dig up roots to eat with his big, strong claws. Donnie was a talented eater; he ate up to 330 pounds a day! Diprotodons like him needed a lot of sustenance, after all, they are the largest marsupials ever to live! Although Donnie and his kind are extinct now, they are closely related to the modern wombats and koalas.
Car-Sized Fossil of Wombat Uncovered in Australia

Rest in peace, Don Tom.


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