Research

The remains of the largest parrot in history discovered in New Zealand

Today in the world there are about 350 speciesparrots. Most of them are small in size. They easily fit on a person’s shoulder. However, there are real giants. For example, a kakapo parrot, which we recently wrote about, can reach a length of 50 centimeters. Until recently, he was considered the largest parrot ever to live on Earth. However, New Zealand paleontologists discovered the ancient remains of a parrot, which during life was almost twice as large as cocoa and was its distant relative.

Where was the largest parrot discovered?

Interestingly, the scientists made the discovery 11 moreyears ago. While excavating near an old New Zealand gold mine located in the Otago region of northern New Zealand, researchers discovered partially preserved fossils of the femur, tibia, and beak.


Excavators paleontologists

A group of researchers who discovered the remains initially suggested that they belong to some unknown ancient species of eagles. An unusually large size of finds prompted them to such an idea.

To a more detailed study of the remains of scientistsreturned only at the beginning of this year. Researchers first compared the discovered bone fossils with a collection of bird bones from the Museum of South Australia, as well as the electronic collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Thus, they narrowed the search circle, excluding the probable kinship of the remains with other species of birds.

Using modern laboratory analysis methods allowed scientists to determine the real owner of these remains.

The largest parrot in the world

Experts believe that they belongeda giant ancient parrot that lived on Earth about 20 million years ago in the Miocene era. According to the surviving remains, scientists were able to presumably calculate its size. Researchers believe that during life, the growth of a parrot reached 1 meter, which is equivalent to half the height of an adult, and its weight is up to 7 kilograms. This makes it the largest known parrot. It is twice as large and heavier than the living cocoa, which was considered the largest species among parrots.

“We have been digging for 20 years and during that timefound thousands of different remains of birds and other animals. However, so far we have not found the remains of such giant parrots. This is the largest representative of its kind, ”says Professor Trevor Worsy of Flinders University, Australia, who participated in the study of the find.


Size Comparison: Jay, Human and Hercules Parrot

Since this discovery turned out to be for scientistsquite unexpected, and the size and weight of the bird researchers really surprised, they decided to call the ancient species of giant parrots Heracles inexpectatus. Translated into Latin, it means "Unexpected Hercules."

Where did the biggest scare live?

According to scientists, this species of parrots lived intimes when most of New Zealand only recently appeared from the ocean. Hercules was inhabited by warm subtropical forests inhabited by a wide variety of animals, including turtles and crocodiles, the remains of which, scientists also found in the excavation site.

According to scientists, the proposed structure of the bird andits size may indicate that parrots of this species did not fly, but walked on the ground. The main diet of the bird was a variety of nuts, seeds of plants, as well as fruits of fruit trees. However, scientists believe that this food for such a large bird, especially in winter, might not be enough.

Scientists say it’s likely that the species of parrotsHercules could eat other species of small animals. That is, he was also a predator, which is not at all characteristic of modern parrots. For this, he had a rather powerful beak, which allowed him to quickly kill his prey.

See also: In Crimea, the remains of the largest bird in history are found

Extinct view of giant ancient parrotspresumably 12 million years ago when the planet began to change climate. World average temperature dropped by 8 degrees Celsius, which led to the disappearance of subtropical forests on the islands of New Zealand and the extinction of the largest parrot in history.

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