Bird Three Times Larger Than Ostrich Discovered In Crimean Cave
Crimean researchers discovered a bird’s fossil remains three times larger than an oystrich, weighed nearly 450 kilograms, and roamed Europe nearly 1.5 million years ago.
The discovery was made in the Tauride Cave on the northern coast of the Black Sea and the specimen suggested the bird was bigger than the Madagascan elephant.
The researchers said the bird may have been a source of meat, feathers, bones, and eggshell for early humans in Europe.
“When I first felt the weight of the bird whose thigh bone I was holding in my hand, I thought it must be a Malagasy elephant bird fossil because no birds of this size have ever been reported from Europe.
However, the structure of the bone unexpectedly told a different story,” said Nikita Zelenkov, lead author from the Russian Academy of Sciences.
It was previously believed by experts that giant birds only existed on the islands of Madagascar, New Zealand, and Australia.
However, the latest discovery puts an end to all the theories.
While the researchers admitted they didn’t have enough data and evidence to prove the bird was closely related to ostriches, they believe it weighs around 450 kilograms.
The findings of the research have now been published in the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology.
It is for the first time in history that shreds of evidence of a giant bird have been found in the Northern Hemisphere.
The researchers believe the bird was flightless with a height of at least 3.5 meters.
The femur of the bird, which is long and slim, suggest it was a better runner than elephant birds couldn’t run fast because of their enormous size.
While many researchers knew about the existence of such species, no one ever calculated their size and speed.
Based on measurements from the femur bone, the researchers managed to reconstruct the body mass of the bird and also estimated its total weight.