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A new study has revealed that scientists discovered a very big bird that of the first of its size ever. The big bird weighs about a half-ton and standing nearly 12 feet tall that may have lived alongside early humans, who feasted on it nearly 2 million years ago.
The researchers are from the Russian Academy of Sciences which have researched the new study known as Pachystruthio dmanisensis — in Crimea’s Taurida Cave. The study has published Wednesday in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
“When I first felt the weight of the bird whose thigh bone I was holding in my hand, I thought it must be a Malagasy elephant bird fossil because no birds of this size have ever been reported from Europe,” said author Nikita Zelenkov of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “However, the structure of the bone unexpectedly told a different story.”
The big birds may have provided meat, bones, feathers and eggshells for early human populations. They likely fed off fruit, and crossed Turkey and the Southern Caucasus to reach the Black Sea region, the researchers said.
“We don’t have enough data yet to say whether it was most closely related to ostriches or to other birds, but we estimate it weighed about 450kg [992 pounds],” Zelenkov said. “This formidable weight is nearly double the largest moa, three times the largest living bird, the common ostrich, and nearly as much as an adult polar bear.”
Researchers also found fossils of giant cheetahs and saber-toothed cats inside the cave.
“The Taurida cave network was only discovered last summer when a new motorway was being built,” Zelenkov said. “Last year, mammoth remains were unearthed and there may be much more to that the site will teach us about Europe’s distant past.”
Source: Text; nypost.com
Image credit; nypost.com