Experts in the Crimea have discovered a fossil of a giant bird that lived some 1.6 to 1.8 million years ago. The find shows that giant birds have once made their homes in Europe and reveal for the first time that they live north of the equator. It also allows experts to better understand the environment in which the early people lived on the European continent.
The find was made by researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences. They discovered the fossil record in "The Taurie Cave on the North Coast of the Black Sea" according to CNN. They were warned of the site after being discovered accidentally while working on expanding a motorway in the area. Pre-excavations on the site have led to the discovery of a number of fossils, including mammoth relatives and missing buffaloes.
A map showing the geographic location of the fossil fuel habitat and the cave plan.
A Giant Bird in Prehistoric Europe
They then encountered a very unusual fossil of a very large 15-inch (45 cm) femur. The Smithsonian.com cites Nikita Zelenkov, a paleontologist who runs the bone study team: "It was the most surprising part of me, so incredible that we did not expect that." Zelenkov and his colleagues soon find out that he belongs to a new species of giant bird, which they temporarily call Pachystruthio dmanisensis. The thighs of Pachystruthio dmanisensis, a missing giant bird (panels A, C, E, F) and a modern common ostrich (Struthio camelus) (panels B, D). (Zelenkov / Newspaper of paleontology of vertebrate animals) "class =" media-image "height =" 370 "style =" width: 610px; height: 370px; "width =" 610 "typeof =" foaf: Image "src =" https://www.ancient-origins.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/The-femurs-of- Pachystruthio-dmanisensis.jpg? Itok = sNRNI6jd "/>
The femur bones of Pachystruthio dmanisensis, missing giant bird (panels A, C, E, F) and modern ostrich (Struthio camelus)
They apparently discovered the first evidence of the existence of a vast bird that lived in Europe, and reported that based on "the dimensions of the bones , researchers have estimated that the bird's body weight is about sex ton
This means it may have been the biggest bird ever to have lived in the Northern Hemisphere and the "third largest bird ever recorded," according to Smithsonian.com. 1.5 to 1.9 million years ago based on the other fossils found in the vicinity.
The bird species were very high about 12 feet (4 meters) tall and they were herbivores. The bird was too big to fly, but on the basis of the thin femur, somewhat reminiscent of a huge ostrich, it could move at considerable speeds, at least briefly. This probably allows him to live in the harsh environment of time. His ability to move quickly meant he could escape from the ferocious Pleistocene predators like "giant cheetahs, hyenas and saber-cats," according to Nova.
Homo erectus may have hunted giant birds. Although it is quite possible that the species has disappeared due to human predation, there may be other factors that have led to his death and extinction, Nova, quotes Zelenkov, pointing out that the possible causes of the bird's disappearance are "a combination of pressure from a changing climate, predation and disease"
The fossil will be compared to a similar bone found The Republic of Georgia to learn more about the giant bird – it was a very complex being and could help us understand the Pleistocene environment – this can help us understand the world in which the early people of Europe lived. H. erectus has caused huge birds to disappear is one who needs further research. The study and its findings are published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Top images: Pachystruthio dmanisensis New species of giant birds have been discovered. Source: nicolasprimola / Adobe Stock.
By Ed Whelan