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Palaeontology

Giant parrot fossil unearthed in New Zealand

August 7, 2019 | Comment icon 7 comments



The extinct parrot would have been a sight to behold. Image Credit: PD - Bernard Spragg
Scientists have identified an extinct species of giant parrot that weighed 15lbs and stood up to 3ft in height.
Bones belonging to the gargantuan bird were first discovered in Central Otago on the South Island of New Zealand back in 2008 however at the time they were thought to belong to an eagle or duck.

Now though, a new study has revealed the true nature of the find.

At twice the size of any living parrot, the species - named Heracles inexpectatus - is thought to date back to between 16 and 19 million years and likely spent most of its time on the ground.

"One can only speculate on [what it would have been like] from comparing modern relatives," study author Trevor Worthy from Flinders University in Australia told Gizmodo in an email.
"Parrots are clever, able to solve problems. Most are herbivores of one kind or another, but one restricted mainly to the ground likely fed on berries and seeds."

New Zealand is certainly no stranger to large birds having also been home to the now-extinct moa - a huge flightless bird that stood over 11ft in height.

This is the first time however that anyone has ever discovered a giant parrot.



Source: Gizmodo | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Alchopwn 3 years ago
I like kakapos, but what kind of parrot is so lazy or so brain damaged that the whole species forgets how to fly?  Idk, but perhaps they all let first cousins marry or something?  Still not as bad as New Zealand's retarded lizard, the tuatara.  They are what you get when you cross an iguana with a sloth.  Slooowest lizard ever.  New Zealand is an extremely beautiful and prosperous country with some of the dumbest native animals ever. Australian tree kangaroos are pretty stupid too... It must be goddamn hard work to stop these stupid stupid animals from going extinct.  I plan to donate to the "... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by bison 3 years ago
A giant parrot hmmm? And when he talks, I'd guess you'd better listen!  
Comment icon #3 Posted by Seti42 3 years ago
Hercules the Unexpected is an amazing name.
Comment icon #4 Posted by ScotDeerie 3 years ago
Better add the qualifier that you mean non-humans or all your donations will be snapped up by meth-heads and politicians.
Comment icon #5 Posted by ScotDeerie 3 years ago
What’s with New Zealand and giant birds? What was going on there that was so optimal for birds that they grew so big they made themselves extinct? 
Comment icon #6 Posted by openozy 3 years ago
Charity begins at home.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Not A Rockstar 3 years ago
Polly wants a case of crackers


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