New Zealand, which consists of two large andMore than 700 tiny islands, is home to the most amazing birds. For example, this is where the Kakapo parrot and the Kiwi bird, which are on the verge of extinction, live - you can learn more about them and see all their beauty in our material, these are truly cute creatures. Amazing birds inhabited the New Zealand islands even millions of years ago - one of them was the so-called “false-toothed” birds Pelagornithidae, the wingspan of which reached 6 meters in length. Recently, an amateur paleontologist named Lee Love found the remains of the most ancient representative of this species of birds and made very surprising discoveries.
The ancient birds of New Zealand were nicknamed"False teeth" due to the presence of tooth-like bony protrusions on the beak. Individuals that died out about 2.5 million years ago, when Australopithecus slowly evolved into a rational person, had tiny teeth in the form of needles. This means that they ate mostly soft foods like squid. Big wings were needed for planning flights.
The very first birds in the world
However, their distant ancestors who lived around 62million years ago, were much smaller and resembled small gulls. But at the same time, they had short and wide teeth, intended for eating fish and other hard foods. The existence of ancient and rather small ancestors of these amazing birds became known recently, thanks to the work of an amateur paleontologist named Li Love. You can see this fellow in the video below.
His name is not widely known, but this mandid a lot for science. You will be surprised, but he is the one who discovered the remains of a penguin the size of a person - remember, we wrote about him in April 2019? Apparently, then he did not stop his work and unearthed one of the most ancient of all known birds today and gave the new species the name Protodontopteryx ruthae in honor of his wife Ruth.
This is interesting: Why are some birds willing to sacrifice their lives in the name of sleep?
That he discovered bones in New Zealand,surprised many scientists. The fact is that all this time paleontologists were convinced that the "false teeth" lived only in the Northern Hemisphere, because the remains were mainly found only there. Now they came up with a rather plausible assumption that the development of ancient birds began precisely in New Zealand.
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Generally, if the New Zealand Islands hadn’tthere were people, today we could see many beautiful birds live. The fact is that, having populated these places, travelers not only started hunting for beautiful feathered creatures, they also brought cats and dogs with them. It would seem, than cats can be dangerous for birds? And their danger, in fact, is extremely high - in Australia they started hunting for cats, because in one year they managed to kill more than a billion animals. And all this is happening in the modern world! As you can see, cats are not so harmless as they seem.