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Giantala

The giantala's muscular tail acts as an extra leg, heaving the creature's weight when standing upright.

The giantala, Silfrangerus giganteus, is a large, ground sloth-like macropodid that lives in the undergrowth of tropical forests in Australia. It is the largest animal of the Australian forest, and in fact the largest animal found in any of the world's tropical forests.

This animal has evolved from the plains-dwelling kangaroos and wallabies that were common when much of the continent was semiarid grassland, and betrays its ancestry by its upright stance and peculiar loping motion. The giantala is so large that it seems at first sight ill-adapted to life in the confined conditions of the tropical forest floor. However, its great height does give it the advantage that it can feed on leaves and shoots that are well out of reach of the other forest inhabitants and its bulk means that shrubs and small trees do not impede it. As the giantala crashes through the thickets, it leaves behind well-marked trails, which, until they are reclaimed by the natural growth of forest, are used as track ways by smaller animals such as the posset.

Giantala head

The herbivorous giantala plucks at leaves of trees with its long tongue. When drawn erect a fully mature individual stands over 3 meters high.

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