Giant bird had a head the size of a horse's
February 13, 2016 | 5 comments
Gastornis was a force to be reckoned with. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 markow76
A huge flightless bird called Gastornis is thought to have once roamed what is now the Arctic Circle.
The 6ft behemoth, which is believed to have eaten both plants and small animals, lived 53 million years ago on what is now Ellesmere island which at the time was a warm and humid swamp.
With a huge head similar in size to that of a horse and weighing in at several hundred pounds, Gastornis would have been a sight to behold and may have even roamed around in packs.
Its existence in the Arctic was confirmed thanks to the discovery of a fossilized specimen in Wyoming which happened to match a fossil Gastornis toe bone found on Ellesmere island back in the 1970s.
"We knew there were a few bird fossils from up there, but we also knew they were extremely rare," said Associate Professor Jaelyn Eberl of the University of Colorado.
"In addition to the Gastornis bone from Ellesmere, another scientist reported seeing a fossil footprint there, probably from a large flightless bird, although its specific location remains unknown."
Source: The Guardian
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