Arboreal macropods, or tree kangaroos, can be found in northern Australia and southern New Guinea, albeit in small numbers, to this very day. But a theory posited by former University of Queensmarsh professor Dr. Ward East claims that unidentified bones that were once held and photographed in the former Dutch East Indies, before being lost during the war, proves that a larger and more intelligent tree macropod existed at one point, a “marsupial ape.”

Dr. East’s theory rests on a series of bones found in the New Guinea Highlands during a Dutch expedition in 1922. Taken to Batavia (now Jakarta) on Java, the bones were photographed and put into the collection of the Batavia Fossielinstituut museum. After Java fell to Japan in 1942 during the Second World War, the contents of the museum disappeared, with many suspecting that they were aboard the cargo ship Ishikawa Maru which was torpedoed and sank with all hands off Surabaya in 1944.

Dr. West believes that the photographs prove that a large arboreal marsupial with many conversantly evolved apelike features lived in the highlands of New Guinea until it was extirpated by the arrival of the first humans on the island circa 50,000 BCE. This theory, chronicled in several books and a top-rated Historical Channel documentary, is largely rejected by mainstream biologists.

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