Giant parrot probably ate its smaller feathered friends

Giant parrot probably ate its smaller feathered friends

At an estimated 15 pounds, the extinct was almost double the weight of the endangered Kakapo. Little did scientists know what was hiding in the fossils - a "Squawkzilla". At about 3 feet, the massive bird would likely have stood almost as tall as the average American 4-year-old. "Finding one is very significant".

The weight of a parrot reached seven pounds. The researchers compared the drumsticklike bones to bird skeletons in the South Australian Museum collection and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's electronic collection.

The parrot was most likely part of an ancient group of parrots in New Zealand that did not survive the affect climate cooling had on subtropical forests and vegetation, according to a press release from Flinders University on the discovery.

Prof Worthy said one of his students came across the parrot's bones by chance in his laboratory during a research project. "Once I had convinced myself it was a parrot, then I obviously had to convince the world".

The area is well known for bird fossils from the Miocene period, which lasted from around 23 million to five million years ago.

More news: Wall Street frets as United States bond market provokes recessionary fears
More news: Times Square descends into PANIC after fears of GUNSHOTS
More news: 8chan goes dark after US mass shootings

This handout picture released on August 7, 2019, by the Flinders University shows the drawing by Dr. Brian Choo featuring a giant-sized parrot that stood more than half the height of an average human and roamed the earth 19 million years ago.

Associate Professor Trevor Worthy, from the Flinders University Palaeontology Lab in Australia, explained: "It was likely a flightless forager who ate abundantly on fruit and seeds but may have preyed on small animals that it could dig out of logs, or even snack on dead or dying moa [flightless birds]".

Professor Mike Archer, from the UNSW Sydney PANGEA research centre, said: Heracles, as the largest parrot ever, no doubt with a massive parrot beak that could crack wide open anything it fancied, may well have dined on more than conventional parrot foods, perhaps even other parrots.

However, because the parrot had no predators, it is unlikely that it was aggressive, Prof Worthy told the BBC. The researchers have turned up many surprising birds and animals over the years.

Related Articles