The remains of a giant-sized parrot that roamed the earth 19 million years ago and stood no less than half the height of an average human have been found in New Zealand.
Estimating by the size of the leg bones, the bird would have stood about one meter (39 inches) tall and weighed as much as seven kilograms (15.5 kilos), in keeping with a report by a world team of paleontologists printed within the latest version of Biology Letters.
“It could have flown however we’re putting our cash on it was being flightless,” Scofield, the senior curator of natural history, instructed AFP Wednesday.
When the bones had been present in 2008, no one was certain what they had been, and they spent 11 yrs gathering dust on a shelf until the crew looked at them again earlier this year.
“They thought they had been from a giant parrot didn’t enter our minds. We thought it might be some type of eagle until we went back and looked at it again,” Scofield stated.
The parrot has been known as Heracles inexpectatus to replicate its Herculean size and power — and the unexpected nature of the discovery.
The bird was approximately the size of the giant “dodo” pigeon and twice the size of the critically endangered New Zealand kakapo, previously the biggest recognized parrot.
Proof of the parrot was unearthed in fossils near St Bathans in southern New Zealand, an area that has proved a rich supply of fossils from the Miocene period which extends from about 5 million to 22 million years ago.
New Zealand, home to the now-extinct flightless bird moa which was as much as 3.6 meters tall with neck outstretched, is well-known for its giant birds.
“However until now, no-one has ever discovered an extinct giant parrot –- anywhere,” associate professor Trevor Worthy from Flinders University stated.