Advertisement
Boards are fundraising to help the people of Ukraine via the Red Cross at this horrific time. Please donate and share if you can, you will find the link here. Many thanks.

Massive Flying 'Toothed' Bird

  • 17-09-2010 1:38pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    "Birds with teeth!" they once exclaimed with indignation. "As rare as a hen's tooth" was another one.
    A new paper has been released on Pelagornis chilensis, a massive bird with a 17 foot wingspan and jagged tooth like structures on it's beak which lived between 5 and 10 million years ago. It probably lived a lifestyle similar to that of the modern albatross. It is among the largest birds ever to have taken flight. The biggest being Argentavis magnificens which had awingspan of 25 feet.
    P. chilensis was identified based on an "exquisitely and exceptionally preserved" fossil skeleton that was found to be 70 percent complete, said study co-author David Rubilar of the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural in Chile.

    The specimen includes the largest and most complete fossil bird wing yet excavated. Previous bony-toothed bird fossils included wings dug up in pieces, if it all, making it harder to accurately establish wingspan.

    Read more here (click on additional pictures for additional info).

    huge-chilean-seabird-reconstruction_26057_600x450.jpg

    Illustration by Carlos Anzures


Comments

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 10,073 marco_polo


    Cool. Sort of an Avian 'Panda thumb' really


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Had to google "panda's thumb". Fascinating.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 10,073 marco_polo


    Galvasean wrote: »
    Had to google "panda's thumb". Fascinating.

    Didn't realise that even something as unusual as the pandas thumb has evolved independently twice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭ Kess73


    Looks like a giant angry grey heron on steroids. :D


    With teeth.:)


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 Rubecula


    Not sure about this so I thought I had better ask.

    Argentavis magnificens, was/is that the thing also called the Thunderbird?

    By the way I love the idea of a big angry grey heron on steroids with teeth.

    "Pond Scum beware" :D


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Rubecula wrote: »
    Not sure about this so I thought I had better ask.

    Argentavis magnificens, was/is that the thing also called the Thunderbird?

    Well, the name is thrown about rather clumsily IMO, hence why I avoid using it. The Thunder Birds were a race of giant birds in Native American mythology. Some have speculated that the legends were inspired by cave people's encounters with teratorns (the family of giant birds that Argentavis belongs to). The last of the teratorns seem to have died out some 10,000 years ago so encounters with humans are likely.

    The other prehistoric 'Thunderbirds' are the giant flightless dromornithids which lived in Australia. THey went extinct possibly as recently as 20,000 years ago, so their timespan would have overlapped with the Aboriginal people.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 Rubecula


    "Polly wants his seeds............ but your head will do nicely"
    :D


Advertisement