Have you thought about the types of animals that used to live in the Lake Bolac district thousands of years ago? Imagine going for a walk and seeing the familiar landmarks, but coming across a very different set of fauna. We are able to get a glimpse into the past, by a sort of time capsule that was uncovered several decades ago.
In the early 1960s, Norman Wakefield from the University of Melbourne worked through mammal bones that had been collected from caves at Mount Hamilton near Nerrin Nerrin. These bones were thousands of year old and partly fossilised. The animals become trapped in this type of cave when they fall down the steep sides. The cave then protects the remains from the weather and from scavenging animals.
There were Eastern grey kangaroos and brush-tailed possums, plus the rare or extinct animals listed below. Most are marsupials and some are native rodents. Wikipedia has more information on many of these species.
Thylacine Tasmanian devil Tiger quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) is a carnivorous marsupial, with males and females weighing around 3.5 and 1.8 kg, respectively. Southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) is a short-nosed bandicoot. Fat-tailed dunnart (Sminthopsis crassicaudata) Eastern barred bandicoot (Perameles gunnii) is a small, rabbit-sized marsupial native to Tasmania and Victoria, southeastern Australia. Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus, old name Phascolomys mitchellii) Eastern bettong (Bettongia gaimardi) Burrowing betting (Bettongia lesueur) now only lives on off-lying islands and on the mainland at Shark Bay WA. Rufous bettong (Aepyprymnus rufescens). Long-nosed potoroo (Potorous tridactylus). Eastern hare-wallaby (Lagorchestes leporides) Northern nail-tail wallaby (Onychogalea unguifera) Bridled nail-tail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata). Now found in three isolated areas in Queensland. Toolach Wallaby (Protemnodon greyi). Slim, graceful, and elegant creature with a distinct black mark on its face reached from its nose to the eye. The forearms, feet, and tips of the ears were also black. Rakali, or water-rat (Hydromys chrysogaster) Australian swamp rat (Rattus lutreolus) Long-eared Mouse (Pseudomys auritus) White-footed rabbit-rat (Conilurus albipes). It made nests filled with leaves and possibly grass in the limbs of hollow eucalyptus trees.
Reference: N.A. Wakefield (1964). Recent mammalian sub-fossils of the basalt plains of Victoria. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria. Vol 77 part 2. pp 419-425. This document can be downloaded from the State Library of Victoria digital collections
Thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus),
Tasmanian devil, (Sarcophilus harrisii)
Recently unearthed footage of the last Thylacine, from 1935.