A discovery seems to have toppled Ostrich from the list of world’s largest bird. In what can be described as a surprise finding, the fossil of a bird three times larger than the size of Ostrich has been traced in the Taurida Cave on the northern coast of the Black Sea. The debate on ‘world’s largest bird’ goes deep down in the history of science. Almost 15 million years ago, a similar bird wreaked havoc in Australia’s Northern Territory and it was named ‘demon duck of doom’.
This time, the researchers unearthed the thigh bone of the gigantic bird while excavating a cave on the Crimean Peninsula.
To quote Nikita Zelenkov, palaeontologist at Russian Academy of Sciences, “When I received the thigh bone of the bird for study, I thought it to be a long-extinct creature. “
As per reports, the flightless bird belongs to the species Pachystruthio dmanisensis. The size of the bird is supposed to be 3.5 metres i.e. tall enough to tower early humans. As per the measurement, the weight of the giant bird is reported to be 450 kg. Moreover, it is for the first time that a bird of such a size has been discovered in the northern hemisphere.
The findings suggest that the bird would have been a rich source of meat bones, feathers and eggshells for early humans. On one hand, other gigantic species of birds like ‘elephant birds’ found it tough to survive due to great size but on the other hand, the femur of the current bird appears relatively long and slim helping it to cope up unfavourable conditions.
The shape of the femur is also suggestive of the prevalent climatic conditions during that time on the earth. The similarities between the bones of the modern Ostrich and the ‘gigantic bird’ hints towards the agility of both the species.