Giant non-flying birds, which have stamped modern ostriches and weigh almost half a ton, have traveled to Europe when the first archaic people arrived from Africa, scientists say.
Researchers have discovered the fossilized femur of one of the feather star Crimean peninsula on the northern Black Sea coast. For the first time such a massive bird was found in the northern hemisphere
The 40 cm long bone analysis and others found along with it date the remains between the ages of 1.5 and 1.8 meters, suggesting that the birds may have been part of the local wildlife when Homo erectus a predecessor of modern humans who reached Europe 1.2 million years ago.
Huge birds may have been a valuable source of meat, bones, feathers, and egg shells for early settlers, scientists say. bones (left, middle and right), along with those of ostrich (B and D). Photograph: Nikita Zelenkov / Society of the Paleontology of Vertebrates
Nikita Zelenkov, a paleontologist at the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that when he first received his femur, he thought it should be from an extinct elephant bird from Madagascar. "No birds of this size have ever been reported by Europe," he said.
But the careful inspection showed that the bird probably belonged to an ancient species called Pachystruthio dmanisensis a dead, non-flying creature. about 3.5 meters high. Based on femur measurements, scientists estimate that the bird weighs about 450kg, twice as large as the largest extinct New Zealand molasses, three times heavier than the largest live bird, the total ostrich and almost as heavy as an adult polar bear. Fossils are described in a journal of paleontology of vertebrates.
"We do not know when it just disappeared, but it probably did not survive less than 1.2 million years ago," Zelenkov said. "They would be seen by different people Homo erectus
Despite the great density of the birds, the long, thin hip bone shows that it is fast on its feet, and other remains discovered by the cave offer some an explanation of why this may have helped: the giant bird lived with some of the greatest predators from the ice age, from saber to cats to other larger predators, including giant cheetahs and giants, all of which could take up the loot Bigger of mammoths
Evolution has decorated the tree n life with a bizarre collection of bulky birds.Especially the plant-eating Gastornithidae family of prehistoric non-bird birds with powerful legs and huge beaks pursued Europe, Asia and North America, from 66 to 35 million years.When grown, some species reach height three feet
A feline-like kitten brought horror into the tropical forests of the Northern Territory of Australia 15 years ago. Technically known as Bullockornis planei but called "the demon's duck" by a researcher with eyes for publicity, the bird bears a beak like horse-head hair. It is believed that the beasts have survived for at least 50,000 years.
Scientists have argued about the identity of the world's largest bird for decades, but last year researchers from the London Zoological Society tried to settle matter. They routed with roulette and two pairs to measure hundreds of bird bones in museums all over the world, and they came across a creature from Madagascar, standing three meters high and weighing up to 800 pounds. His name, Vorombe titan, means "big bird" in a mixture of Malagasy and Greek.
The Taurus cave, where the newest bones were discovered, was opened only last year during the construction of a highway that will connect Simferopol, a city in the heart of the Crimean Peninsula, with the city of Kerch in the east. How often the large birds in Europe are unknown is the issue that future expeditions will now seek to answer. "Although there is no evidence yet, this bird may have spread to more western territories," Zelenkov said.
Excavations at the site also revealed the remains of buffalo and mammoth, and field surveys are expected. for some time. "There may be more to it that the site will teach us about the distant past of Europe," Zelenkov said.