height one meter and weight 7 kilograms

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New Zealand kakapoStrigops habroptilus) Currently largest parrot in the world, endangered. It can reach a length of up to 60 centimeters and a total weight of 4 kilograms. And yet, this is nothing compared to what the most impressive parrot on Earth was, who lived 19 million years ago.

This the prehistoric parrot, which probably could not fly, was about a meter tall and weighed about 7 kilograms. Fossils of this animal were found in 2008 among other remains dating back to 19 million years ago, near St. Bathans, in central Otago, New Zealand. The area is known for its bird fossils dating back to the Miocene period, which ranges from 5.3 to 23 million years ago.

However, a study with the results of this unique discovery was published only in 2019 in a journal. Letters in Biology. Study leader Trevor Worthy from Flinders University said: “New Zealand is famous for its giant birds. Not only did the moas dominate the skies, but giant geese and geese shared the forest habitat, and a giant eagle also soared in the skies. But so far no one has found an extinct giant parrot anywhere.”

Researchers have given this new bird its scientific name Hercules unexpected in honor of his size and Herculean strength.

Huge Peak

The parrot had a huge beak, which has sparked debate about what its diet might have been. “Hercules, the largest parrot in history, with a giant beak that could open as much as he wanted, could eat more than just regular parrot food; he may even have been able to eat other parrots,” said Mike Archer, author. Research and Professor at the Paleontology, Geobiology and Earth Archives Research Center at the University of New South Wales.

When Hercules He lived, lived in areas with abundant specimens of laurel and palm trees in subtropical forests.

“Undoubtedly, these habitats provided rich contribution of fruits to the diet Hercules and also in the parrots and pigeons with which he lived. But on the forest floor, Hercules competed with the corpuscles and moa precursors,” said Suzanne Hand, study author and professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

The species was comparable to the giant pigeon found east of Madagascar and was twice the size of the largest previously known parrot, the New Zealand kakapo.

Extinct species of giant birds lived on the islands in ancient timesas happened with the dodo, the giant pigeon found in Fiji, the giant stork from the island of Flores and the giant ducks from the island of Hawaii.

Reference research: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0467.


Environment Department contact: Crisisclimatica@prensaiberica.es

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