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Imagine a parrot standing 3 feet (1 meter) tall, about the height of a 2-year-old child. This giant bird lived in New Zealand around 19 million years ago; it was the largest parrot that ever lived, and is the only known giant parrot in the world.
Paleontologists recently described the gargantuan bird from a pair of fossilized leg bones found at a fossil-rich site in St. Bathans, New Zealand. The bones were "large and robust," and in life the bird may have weighed up to 15 pounds (7 kilograms), the researchers reported in a new study.
New - Zealand - Types - Birds - Forests
New Zealand is known for other types of extinct giant birds that once stalked its forests and grasslands and soared in its skies. The massive, flightless moa (Dinornis robustus) stood as tall as 6 feet (2 m) at the shoulder and weighed up to 530 lbs. (240 kilograms), while the Haast's eagle (Hieraaetus moorei) — the largest known eagle of all time — had a wingspan of about 10 feet (3 m) and weighed up to 26 lbs. (12 kg).
Scientists discovered the parrot leg bones in 2008; for years, they hunted for more fossils of the animal, but further evidence remained frustratingly elusive, said lead study author Trevor Worthy, an associate professor with the College of Science and Engineering at Flinders University in Australia.
Years - Thousands - Bones - Light
"Ten years on and thousands of bones later, no more has come to light. So we decided, well,...
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