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 Elliott Negin
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' recent decision to award the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to scientists who developed rechargeable lithium-ion batteries reminded the world just how transformative they have been. Without them, we wouldn't have smartphones or electric cars. But it's their potential to store electricity generated by the sun and the wind at their peak that promises to be even more revolutionary, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and protecting the planet from the worst consequences of climate change.
The global population of the critically endangered Javan rhinoceros has increased to 72 after four new calves were spotted in the past several months.
Are tigers extinct in Laos?
That's the conclusion of a detailed new study that found no evidence wild tigers still exist in the country.
Methane emissions are a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide – about 28 times more powerful. And they have been rising steadily since 2007. Now, a new study has pinpointed the African tropics as a hot spot responsible for one-third of the global methane surge, as Newsweek reported.