Bohra is an extinct genus of macropod from the Plio-Pleistocene of Australia. It is closely related to modern tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus), and like them is thought to have had an arboreal lifestyle, with some species of Bohra substantially exceeding living tree kangaroos in size.

Temporal range: Pliocene - Late Pleistocene
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Macropodidae
Subfamily: Macropodinae
Genus: Bohra
Flannery & Szalay, 1982[1]
Type species
Bohra paulae
Flannery & Szalay, 1982
  • B. bandharr
  • B. bila
  • B. illuminata
  • B. nullarbora
  • B. paulae
  • B. planei
  • B. wilkinsonorum


Life restoration of B. paulae

The type species, Bohra paulae was first described in 1982 from material found in Wellington Caves in New South Wales.[2][3] Bohra is the name of a legendary kangaroo of the Euahlayi tribe from New South Wales. Bohra was said to walk on all four limbs and possessed sharp canine teeth before being removed by men. Living tree-kangaroos share similar proportions between the front and hind limbs.[2]

Three other species have been described: Bohra wilkinsonorum from southeastern Queensland in 2004,[4] Bohra illuminata from south-central Australia in 2008,[5] and Bohra nullarbora from Western Australia in 2009.[6]

Bohra is considered a plesiomorphic sister taxon to the living tree-kangaroos (Dendrolagus).[2]


Size of B. paulae compared to 180 cm man and Dendrolagus goodfellowi

Some species of Bohra like Bohra paula and Bohra wilkinsonorum were much larger than any tree-kangaroo, with estimated body masses of 35–47 kg (77–104 lb).[7] They many similarities with tree-kangaroos in their cranio-dental and hind limb morphology,[8] and in spite of its size, shows many of the same arboreal adaptations as its living relatives. Among the similarities are the calcaneus being flat and broad with the cuboid articulation not being stepped and the height-to-width ratio of the articulation being much smaller than in that of other types of kangaroos.[2] Compared to living tree kangaroos, the species of Bohra are distinguished by proportionally larger cheek teeth and longer upper incisors.[7]

Remains of Bohra illuminata also show morphological similarities to rock wallabies (Petrogale); recent molecular studies suggest that rock wallabies are the closest living relatives of tree-kangaroos, further proving Bohra is of close relation to these groups.[5]

Distribution and habitat


Bohra wilkinsonorum is the oldest species (Pliocene), while the remaining species are of Pleistocene age. All species of Bohra inhabited regions more southerly than any tree-kangaroo, including the now treeless Nullarbor plain. Given the arboreal nature of Bohra, it seems many regions of Australia were able to better support tree cover in the recent past.[6] The youngest records of Bohra dates to around the Late Pleistocene, though the precise timing of extinction is uncertain due to a lack of precise dating on remains, though they may have persisted as recently as 22,000 years ago based on Dendrolagus-like DNA found in indeterminate bone fragments from Tunnel Cave in Southwestern Australia.[7]


  1. ^ "Bohra". Fossilworks.
  2. ^ a b c d Flannery, T.F.; Szalay, F. (1982). "Bohra paulae, a new giant fossil tree kangaroo (Marsupialia: Macropodidae) from New South Wales, Australia". Australian Mammalogy. 5: 83–94.
  3. ^ Dawson, Lyndall (1985). "Marsupial fossils from Wellington Caves, New South Wales; the historic and scientific significance of the collections in the Australia Museum, Sydney". Records of the Australian Museum. 37 (2): 55–69. doi:10.3853/J.0067-1975.37.1985.335.
  4. ^ Dawson, Lyndall (2004). "A new Pliocene tree kangaroo species (Marsupialia, Macropodinae) from the Chinchilla Local Fauna, southeastern Queensland". Alcheringa. 28 (1): 267–273. doi:10.1080/03115510408619284.
  5. ^ a b Prideaux, G.J.; Warburton, N. (2008). "A new fossil tree-kangaroo (Diprotodontia: Macropodidae) from the Nullarbor Plain of South-Central Australia". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 28: 463–478.
  6. ^ a b Prideaux, G.J.; Warburton, N. (2009). "Bohra nullarbora sp. nov., a second tree-kangaroo (Marsupialia: Macropodidae) from the Pleistocene of the Nullarbor Plain, Western Australia". Records of the Western Australian Museum. 25 (2): 165–179.
  7. ^ a b c Prideaux, Gavin J.; Warburton, Natalie M. (2023-06-07). "A review of the late Cenozoic genus Bohra (Diprotodontia: Macropodidae) and the evolution of tree-kangaroos". Zootaxa. 5299 (1): 1–95. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.5299.1.1. ISSN 1175-5334.
  8. ^ Coulson, Graeme (2010). "13". Macropods: The Biology of Kangaroos, Wallabies, and Rat-kangaroos. CSIRO PUBLISHING. ISBN 9780643101845.