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Cave-dwelling, Mountain-dwelling, Rainforest-dwelling, Swamp-dwelling
Herbivore, Lazarus taxon, Featured in Native folklore
The Gyedarra is an unknown marsupial reported in eastern Australia, especially near Gowrie Station, Queensland. They were described as looking like massive wombats, about the size of a small horse. They had stocky legs and were solitary animals. They were herbivorous and were usually seen digging up creek beds for seaweed and other plant matter. They apparently spend most of their time near, or in the water. The Wiradjuri people, who live near Gowrie Station, said the Gyedarra are now rare animals, usually seen every couple of years, but were plentiful two generations earlier.
In 1871, an archaeologist found Diprotodon bones, an animal that is generally thought to of went extinct 28 to 8 thousand years ago, and realized it’s extremely similar to the Gyedarra. He brought to some Aboriginals in Gowrie and they all unanimously said those were gyedarra bones. The Adnyamathanha (Add-yuh-mot-nuh) Mob, who live in the remote Flinders Ranges in South Australia has folklore of a creature known as the yamuti, a monstrous beast that attacks and kills children. The only way to survive a yamuti encounter is to climb up a tree, because they can’t look up, and spare you. The creature’s appearance, as well as its inability to look up, is consistent with a diprotodon.
A September 16th, 1872 Sydney Morning Herald article described a giant wombat or bear-like animal inhabiting Giant’s Cave in Braidwood, New South Wales. It was often seen resting on rocks near the cave, and anyone who would approach it would cause the creature to run back into the cave, making an odd chattering noise. Some later reports described the animal as resembling a gorilla, possibly a yowie.
Some reports in the early 1900s from prospectors, described seeing nine-foot-long animals they called “Giant Rabbits”, due to the appearance of the creature’s head, that was occasionally seen wandering around the outback. Unlike diprotodons, however, these "giant rabbits" could hop around similar to a kangaroo, implying they may have been relict populations of Procoptodon or Sthenurus, rather then diprotodons. Some cryptid sightings labelled as “bunyips” also appear to be Diprotodons.
A handful of modern accounts of "giant wombats" or diprotodon-like animals exist, many collected by Australian cryptozoologist Gary Opit. In June of 1997, a witness known only as John claimed to have seen a giant wombat-like creature while driving through bushland south of Tathra, New South Wales. He watched as the animal suddenly walked out of the bush, forcing him to stop his car, and causing the animal to turn around facing his driver's side window. He described it as resembling a wombat, but significantly larger, with a slimmer and taller body, with dark fur, long limbs, and a more "mobile" head. In fear, John sped away, as did the animal.
In 2001, a witness named Claire claimed to have encountered an unusual animal near Foster, Victoria. While walking through a small thicket, she saw a dark brown, long-limbed, tailless animal roughly the size of a sheep run across the road in front of her. Its head resembled a wombat's, and it moved similar to one as well. Like the 1997 sighting in Tathra, it was described as having a more mobile, flexible head. She claimed they looked identical to illustrations of diprotodons.
On December 20th, 2004 at 11:00 pm, a man named Gabe Hart claimed to have seen "a family" of four diprotodon-like creatures walk across the road near Mount Jerusalem National Park in northeastern New South Wales. He said they crossed the road in a single file line and were moving their hind legs together, similar to a kangaroo when walking quadrupedally. Two seemed to be adults, while the other two were smaller, presumably their young. The adults were about three feet long and a foot and a half in height. He claimed they had long limbs, dark fur and no visible tail.