Ancient, giant, carnivorous parrot roamed New Zealand 19 million years ago

Ancient, giant, carnivorous parrot roamed New Zealand 19 million years ago

A group of hen bones sat in lab storage for greater than a decade, believed to be the stays of an historical eagle.

Wellington-A giant parrot that roamed New Zealand about 19 million years ago had a height of 1m (3ft 2in) - more than half the average height of a human, a new study has found.

The weight of a parrot reached seven pounds. Estimated to have weighed about 7kg (1.1st), it would have been more than twice as heavy as the kākāpo, previously the largest known parrot.

"New Zealand is well known for its giant birds". It turned out that they had to come from a parrot-like one, and not, for example, from a kiwi (sort of bird) or a huge pigeon. The researchers compared the drumsticklike bones to bird skeletons in the South Australian Museum collection and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's electronic collection.

Bones of the bird, somewhere between 16 and 19 million years old, were discovered in a now extinct lake in St. Bathans in 2008.

Prof Worthy said his student found the parrot's bones, preserved for 11 years, by chance in his laboratory during a research project.

After that, a workforce of researchers started reanalyzing the findings earlier this yr, in keeping with the BBC. "As soon as I had satisfied myself it was a parrot, then I clearly needed to persuade the world". According to researchers, the remains belonged to a single, very large bird. However which may not have been sufficient to satiate the enormous parrot.

"Not only moa dominated avifaunas, but giant geese and adzebills shared the forest floor, while a giant eagle ruled the skies", Trevor Worthy, co-author of the study and a professor at Australia's Flinders University, said in a statement. Both were quickly driven to extinction when the first Maori settlers arrived in New Zealand and hunted Moa for food, with the last individuals of both species likely disappearing in the early 15th century.

The parrot's beak would have been so big, Mike Archer of the University of NSW Palaeontology said, it "could crack wide open anything it fancied".

Heracles likely won't be the final unforeseen fossil from the St. Bathans area, Worthy told AFP.

"While Heracles is one of the most spectacular birds we have found, no doubt there are many more unexpected species yet to be discovered in this most interesting deposit".



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