Weird News: Big birds: Giant, 1,000-pound birds once roamed around Europe - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Weird NewsBig birds: Giant, 1,000-pound birds once roamed around Europe

12:47  27 june  2019
12:47  27 june  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Giant flightless birds that dwarfed modern ostriches and weighed nearly half a tonne roamed Europe when the first archaic humans arrived from Africa, scientists say. Researchers unearthed the fossilised thigh bone of one of the feathered beasts while excavating a cave on the Crimean peninsula on the

Big birds: Giant, 1,000-pound birds once roamed around Europe © Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

Talk about your big bird.

At 1,000 pounds and over 10 feet tall, it was one of the largest birds that ever lived in Earth's history. And almost 2 million years ago, early Europeans lived alongside some of these huge birds, according to new research published Wednesday.

Bones of the huge, long-extinct bird were recently discovered in a cave in Crimea.

"We estimate it weighed about 1,000 pounds," said study lead author Nikita Zelenkov of the Russian Academy of Sciences. "This formidable weight is nearly three times the largest living bird, the common ostrich, and nearly as much as an adult polar bear."

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The giant bird , which scientists have dubbed Genyornis newtoni, weighed roughly 500 pounds and stood about seven feet tall. Other gargantuan examples of Australia’s frightening animal past include a 1 , 000 pound kangaroo and a wombat the size of a moderately sized car.

But for the giant flightless birds that once roamed the Australian outback, it was an omelet station what did ‘em in. A new study finds evidence that about 47, 000 A two-ton wombat, a thousand- pound kangaroo, and a 500- pound bird now known as Genyornis newtoni were spread across the continent.

The bird would have towered above early humans. Scientists speculate that it was likely flightless but was probably able to run quite fast.

Speed may have been key to the bird's survival, the study said. Alongside its bones, scientists also found fossils of huge carnivores such as giant cheetah, giant hyenas and saber-toothed cats.

According to the study, the bird may have also been a source of meat, bones, feathers and eggshells for early humans.

It was previously thought that such giant birds only lived on the islands of Madagascar and New Zealand as well as Australia. This is the first giant bird ever discovered in the Northern Hemisphere.

What current bird might it most resemble? "We don't have enough data yet to say whether it was most closely related to ostriches or to other birds," Zelenkov said.

The bones were discovered during the construction of a new highway in Crimea. "Last year, mammoth remains were unearthed (there) and there may be much more the site will teach us about Europe's distant past," he said.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

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