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Creation 42(3):36–37, July 2020

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Kangaroos in India?

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kangaroos

Kangaroos are one of Australia’s most iconic animals. Recently discovered pictographs (rock art) could help to complete the history of how the marsupials got there. Dr Jinu Koshy, an archaeologist from the University of Madras, has found what he believes to be the biggest rock art complex in India. Located in Andhra Pradesh province, one of the rock shelters features images of boar, deer, cows, people, and symbols.

Koshy believes the occupants, drawing everyday events and creatures, lived towards the end of the Ice Age, which secularists claim was about 12,000 years ago. He also identified “some figures that resembled creatures that have never before been sighted in Indian rock art finds—drawings that looked like erect-standing, pouch-bearing kangaroos.”1 

The location of the seeming ‘roo rock art’ fits well with biblical history. After animals exited Noah’s Ark around 4,500 years ago they gradually dispersed across the world from the mountains of Ararat.2 The Ice Age caused by the Flood lasted for more than half a millennium after it, and all agree that the massive glaciation must have dramatically lowered sea levels, exposing land bridges.

The Ice Age map here shows this, and marks a straightforward migration route (by breeding and moving on over many generations) to what is now Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. All three countries still have kangaroos— including tree-dwelling types that seem suited to the tropics, and are the only type still present in the first two countries. Also found in Australia’s northern tropical rainforests, they are likely the same created kind as the ground-dwelling kangaroos and wallabies widespread across the rest of Australia.

Au-India-map
Image: Dr Jinu Koshymarsupials-drawn
The creatures drawn in a vivid red show their distinctive pouches to the front and arms raised in the air. See also images below.

The route could easily have involved this region of India, and was mostly over dry land. The few remaining water barriers may have been crossed by rafting on vegetation mats torn off in storms, or via the animals’ strong swimming abilities.

If so, the rock artists would have been able to observe them then still living in the area before they moved on and remnant populations died out. India today has many types of predators, including tigers, leopards, and even the Asiatic lion, which may have helped their demise. None of these are found in Australia; their ancestors may never have made it there before rising sea levels cut off access.

Image: Dr Jinu Koshywall-painting

References and notes

  1. Chandrasekran, A., Did kangaroos ever live in India? A new discovery has some archaeologists hopping with excitement; scroll.in, 13 May 2019. Return to text.
  2. See ‘How did animals get from the Ark to places such as Australia?’, chap. 17 of CMI’s The Creation Answers Book; creation.com/cab17. Return to text.