Fossils of the biggest bird so far

Dromornis stirtoni

The accumulation of small heritable changes within populations over time.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

Fossils of the biggest bird so far

#1  Postby lyingcheat » Jun 17, 2018 8:57 am

Fossils from Alcoota site shed more light on origins of gigantic, goose-like bird
The central Australian outback was once home to a large flightless bird thought to be the largest bird ever to walk the planet.
The goose-like Dromornis stirtoni is thought to have stood about three metres tall and weighed up to 650 kilograms, making it heavier than the Giant Moa of New Zealand and taller than the Elephant Bird of Madagascar.

More is being discovered about this giant, flightless creature from extensive digs at a the fossil-rich Alcoota site, 200 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs.
Dr Adam Yates, the senior curator of Earth Sciences at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Alice Springs, said the site was about 8 million years old. But Dr Yates said, relatively speaking, that was not considered that old.
...
He said the story of Dromornis stirtoni was interesting in that for decades scientists mistakenly believed it was distant relative of the emu because the leg bones were similar to those of emus. But Dr Yates said thanks to the later discovery of Dromornis skulls at the site, it was revealed that they were actually a flightless family of dromornithids unique to Australia but completely unrelated to emus.
...
Dr Yates said the research took a while, but through a combination of the fossil skulls found at Alcoota and at Bullock Creek — another fossil site 700 kilometres south of Darwin — it was found that Dromornis stirtoni was related to ducks and geese.

He said scientists now believed Dromornis stirtoni was the largest bird that ever lived on the planet.


Image
A recent sketch of what Dromornis stirtoni may have looked like.

Image
A full skeleton of the large, prehistoric bird found at the Alcoota fossil beds.


The story also contains another interesting way of conceptualising the relative time scales, well... it's new to me at least.
(Dr Yates) said it was often difficult for people to conceptualise how long ago creatures like Dromornis stirtoni walked the earth.
"One analogy I like to use is talk about a piece of paper representing a single year. So if you just lay down one piece of typing paper that's one year and then you build up a stack of 300 pieces of paper, which is less than an inch thick. Then you've covered all of European history in Australia.

You'd need a stack that was close to head height to cover all of Aboriginal history in Australia but to get the mere eight million years ago you'd need a stack of paper that was at ground level in Alice Springs and stacked up above Mount Gillen (914 metres).

To get back to the dinosaurs you'd have to be up where the commercial aeroplanes are flying."
> Insert Witty Signature Phrase Here <
User avatar
lyingcheat
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 423
Male

Country: Australia
Australia (au)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Fossils of the biggest bird so far

#2  Postby BlackBart » Jun 17, 2018 4:55 pm

Who's a pretty boy then?
You don't crucify people! Not on Good Friday! - Harold Shand
User avatar
BlackBart
 
Posts: 11526
Age: 56
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Fossils of the biggest bird so far

#3  Postby Keep It Real » Jun 18, 2018 4:35 pm

The watchmaker forelimbs bear a striking resemblance to t-rex by my mind.
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell play people what they do not want to hear" - George Orwell

It's not the money that's the problem - it's the occupational therapy.
User avatar
Keep It Real
 
Posts: 7617
Age: 37
Male

England (eng)
Print view this post

Re: Fossils of the biggest bird so far

#4  Postby Fallible » Jun 18, 2018 8:15 pm

Those are some pathetic wings.
John Grant wrote:They say 'let go, let go, let go, you must learn to let go'.
If I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby's gonna blow
Into a million itsy bitsy tiny pieces, don't you know,
Just like my favourite scene in Scanners .
User avatar
Fallible
RS Donator
 
Name: Alice Pooper
Posts: 48121
Age: 46
Female

Country: Engerland na na
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Fossils of the biggest bird so far

#5  Postby LucidFlight » Jun 19, 2018 3:24 am

Fallible wrote:Those are some pathetic wings.


Humerusly small, one could say.
OFFICIAL MEMBER: QUANTUM CONSTRUCTOR CONSCIOUSNESS QUALIA KOALA COLLECTIVE.
User avatar
LucidFlight
RS Donator
 
Name: Charley
Posts: 10254
Male

Country: UK/US/AU/SG
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Fossils of the biggest bird so far

#6  Postby Fallible » Jun 19, 2018 8:51 am

Trust you to elbow your way in.
John Grant wrote:They say 'let go, let go, let go, you must learn to let go'.
If I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby's gonna blow
Into a million itsy bitsy tiny pieces, don't you know,
Just like my favourite scene in Scanners .
User avatar
Fallible
RS Donator
 
Name: Alice Pooper
Posts: 48121
Age: 46
Female

Country: Engerland na na
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Fossils of the biggest bird so far

#7  Postby Hermit » Jun 19, 2018 9:32 am

Oops. Wrong thread.
God created the universe
God just exists
User avatar
Hermit
 
Posts: 1724
Age: 65
Male

Country: Australia
Print view this post


Return to Evolution & Natural Selection

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest