The term megafauna (mega meaning 'very large' - fauna meaning 'animals') describes a range of super-sized vertebrates - animals with backbones - that emerged after the dinosaurs. Favoured by conditions at that time, they were able to grow much larger than is common today.
Many megafauna species became extinct during the Pleistocene, an epoch that lasted until around 12,000 years ago. Today, we can visualise with astonishingly accuracy what Australian megafauna looked like thanks to the work of highly-skilled paleo-illustrators such as Peter Trusler, who goes to extraordinary lengths to create authentic imagery. Five of his stunning illustrations can now be seen on the Mint’s remarkable new Australian Megafauna coin series.