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A new study found that fossils discovered in Antarctica in the 1980s may belong to the largest flying bird ever.

The now extinct group of birds is called pelagornithids, with a wingspan of 21 feet, almost twice the largest today.

The age of the fossils ranges from 62 million to 2.5 million years, indicating that ancient dinosaurs arose after the extinction of dinosaurs.

Poultry have “hard teeth” and sharp beaks and feed on fish and squid. Researchers have determined that pelagic weevil has traveled in the southern oceans of the world for at least 60 million years, just like albatross today.

The research report said: “These Antarctic fossils may not only represent the largest flying bird in the Eocene, but also the largest flying bird ever.”

The study, published Monday in the journal Scientific Reports, looked at fossils collected from the Antarctic Peninsula by riverside paleontologists at the University of California in the mid-1980s-including foot bones and mandibular bones, which are now considered the largest (oldest). bone. ) Have records.

According to a press release from the university, the fossils were moved to the Paleontological Museum of the University of California, Berkeley, and in 2015, a graduate student, Peter Kloess, encountered these fossils.

Kloess is the lead author of the study. Together with his two co-authors, he used fossil measurements to compare the scale with previously discovered pelagic fish skeletons. The research team found that these fragments came from extinct birds and were even larger in size.

Chloes said: “Our fossil discoveries…show that after the extinction of the dinosaurs, birds evolved to a considerable scale and ruled the oceans for millions of years.”

This research also helped paleontologists understand the situation in Antarctica (50 million years ago). Today, it is not an icy continent, but much warmer and home to now extinct land mammals, including sloths and anteaters at a distance. The area is also a “playground” for various birds.

Thomas Steidham, co-author of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, said: “The huge extinct Bole bird, with its very long wings, can already travel in the ancient high seas that have not yet been ruled by whales and seals. Fly widely in China.” The Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing

“These bony-toothed birds were originally powerful predators. They have evolved to the top of their ecosystem.”


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