Tuesday 8 July 2014

Fossil of 'largest flying bird' relative of the Thunderbird?

Fossil of 'largest flying bird' identified
Rebecca Morelle By Rebecca Morelle Science Correspondent, BBC News
The fossilised remains of the largest flying bird ever found have been identified by scientists.This creature would have looked like a seagull on steroids - its wingspan was between 6.1 and 7.4m (20-24ft).The find is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The 25m-year-old fossil was unearthed 30 years ago in South Carolina, but it has taken until now to identify that this is a new species.Daniel Ksepka, curator of science at the Bruce Museum in Connecticut, said: "This fossil is remarkable both for the size, which we could only speculate on before the discovery, and for the preservation.
Huge birds like this were once common, but they vanished about three million years ago.Scientists do not yet understand why these giants of the skies died out.

Perhaps the stories of the Thunderbird come from the finding of giant fossils like this or maybe they didn’t die out and a an evolved form is flying around out there somewhere....a Thunderbird.

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