The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Giant, Possibly Carnivorous Parrot Fossils Discovered in New Zealand
Scientists in New Zealand have uncovered the remains of a gigantic parrot that roamed the country some 20 million years ago.
The ancient bird stood up to a meter (39 inches) tall and weighed up to seven kilograms (15.5 pounds), an international team of researchers wrote in an article published in Biology Letters.
"Heracles, as the largest parrot ever, no doubt with a massive parrot beak that could crack wide open anything it fancied, may well have dined on more than conventional parrot foods, perhaps even other parrots," said professor Mike Archer from the University of New South Wales in Australia.
The research team found the bird's fossils near a mining town on New Zealand's South Island 11 years ago. They only realized what they were after re-examining the remains earlier this year.
"The thought they were from a giant parrot did not enter our minds. We thought it could be some type of eagle until we went back and looked at it again," Paul Scofield from New Zealand's Canterbury Museum told the AFP news agency.
Paleontologists from Flinders University in Australia and the Canterbury Museum have named the parrot "Heracles inexpectatus."
Reposted with permission from our media associate DW.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jeff Turrentine
The coal industry is dying. But we can't allow the communities that have been dependent on coal to die along with it.
By David R. Montgomery
Would it sound too good to be true if I was to say that there was a simple, profitable and underused agricultural method to help feed everybody, cool the planet, and revitalize rural America? I used to think so, until I started visiting farmers who are restoring fertility to their land, stashing a lot of carbon in their soil, and returning healthy profitability to family farms. Now I've come to see how restoring soil health would prove as good for farmers and rural economies as it would for the environment.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new numbers that show vaping-related lung illnesses are continuing to grow across the country, as the number of fatalities has climbed to 33 and hospitalizations have reached 1,479 cases, according to a CDC update.