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The first Australians ate giant eggs of huge flightless birds, ancient proteins confirm


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Burn marks discovered on scraps of ancient shell several years ago suggested the first Australians cooked and ate large eggs from a long-extinct bird—leading to fierce debate over the species that laid them.

Now, an international team led by scientists from the universities of Cambridge and Turin have placed the animal on the evolutionary tree by comparing the protein sequences from powdered egg fossils to those encoded in the genomes of living avian species.

According to findings published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the ancient eggs came from Genyornis: a huge flightless "mihirung"—or "Thunder Bird"—with tiny wings and massive legs that roamed prehistoric Australia, possibly in flocks.

https://phys.org/news/2022-05-australians-ate-giant-eggs-huge.html

https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.2109326119

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