Paleontologists have made an astonishing discovery on a bird of impressive proportions. An ancestor of today's parrots.
History sometimes takes time to reveal its secrets. This is what the review reveals Biology Letters, which indicates that analyzes of fossils discovered in 2008 near Saint Bathans (in the center of the South Island of New Zealand) proved the existence of giant parrots millions of years ago . The country is known for hosting particularly imposing birds.
The area in question is known to be particularly rich in fossils dating from the Miocene, an era going back 5 to 23 million years. For years, paleontologists believed it to be an eagle's paw and hadn't paid much attention to it.
But a recent examination revealed that it was another species: a parrot measuring almost one meter long (about 90 to 90 cm high) and weighing about 7 kilos! Impressed by its dimensions, they decided to call it Heracles Inexpectatus, in reference to the myth of Hercules. Maybe he was too big to fly. Mike Archer, who works at the University of New South Wales Palaeontology Research Center, said to AFP on this discovery.
“Hercules, the largest known parrot, undoubtedly had a huge beak that could open anything he wanted in half and he could very well have enjoyed something other than the usual parrot food, even be other parrots“
An exceptional animal since it had to be twice as imposing as the Kakapo, the largest species of parrot today (unfortunately endangered). This superb discovery suggests others, as Archer confirms.
“We have been excavating these fossil deposits for twenty years and each year brings us revelations about new birds or other animals. (…) There are undoubtedly many more unexpected species to discover. “
That’s all we wish them!