A recent series of remarkable fossil discoveries in Australia and New Zealand, the land of great birds, has shed light on animal numbers in ancient times.
Scientists have discovered the remains of a 25 million-year-old vulture near Lake Binba, a salty area in the South Australian Outback. It’s a collection of 63 fossil bones that are part of her skeleton, a rare find from several perspectives: first by the number of elements and then because vulture remains are rare. The discovery dates back to 2016, but the report of the team of paleontologists was published on Monday, September 27, 2021 in “ Historical Biology ».
Archaehierax sylvestris, or ancient forest hawk, had a wingspan of 15 centimeters, according to Ilan Mather, the report’s lead author. Its size is not impressive, but it is the largest species identified in Australia and the bird of prey is no less remarkable in its behaviour. With his terrifying claw also reaching 15 cm, he was, according to “Hororical Biology”, one of the most powerful predators of the Oligocene, able to sting on opossums or koalas. It is related to the wedge-tailed eagle and appears to belong to a separate branch of the eagle family. Professor Trevor Worthy told the BBC: “It is the most exciting fossil ever found.
A penguin dating back to the Oligocene
In New Zealand, it’s a giant penguin reshaped after fifteen years of studies, whose report was published in the “Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology,” according to reports. Science and the future. This is again a sample from the Oligocene. Kairuku Waewaeroa was about 5 feet tall and had large and long legs. New Zealand is famous for the importance of paleontological finds: researchers have already discovered a one-meter-high parrot, an eagle three meters wide, and a penguin almost two meters long. It is also the country of moa, this Pleistocene bird that disappeared only in the eighteenth century, the largest known in the world, where it can weigh up to 250 kg and therefore did not fly.
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