By T.K. Randall
October 5, 2022 · 0 comments
Palaeontologists have unearthed what is thought to be the leg bones of the largest species of bird to ever live.
While today the ostrich is the largest bird to walk the Earth, in the distant past there existed avian behemoths closer in size to large theropod dinosaurs than to anything alive today.
Now palaeontologists working in Australia have discovered what is thought to be the fossil remains of the largest bird that ever existed – a creature known as Stirton’s thunderbird (or Dromornis stirtoni).
This prehistoric beast, which roamed the Earth millions of years ago, was like an ostrich on steroids – standing at a height of up to 3 meters and weighing in at a staggering 500kg.
Bizarrely, its closest living ancestors today are ducks and chickens.
This latest fossil discovery, which was unearthed at the Alcoota Reserve north-east of Alice Springs, will hopefully help experts learn more about the true size of these prehistoric giants.
It is even possible that more of the skeleton is buried nearby, just waiting to be found.
“We only got the lower legs because that’s as far as we dug,” paleontologist Adam Yates told Science Alert.
“There’s every expectation that a large part of the rest of the skeleton – if not the entire skeleton – might be lying in the next dig as we dig further into the bank that the legs come from.”
A huge moment at #alcoota2022 with the very first articulated -Dromornis stirtoni- leg excavated from Classy Corner. Thankyou @Phoebyornis for scale! #fossilfriday @fupalaeosoc @FlindersPalaeo pic.twitter.com/mJaKvacOtg
— Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (@MAG_NT) July 22, 2022
Source: Science Alert | Comments (0)