The fossil of a giant parrot that stood up to 1 meter tall and weighed about 7 kilograms was discovered in New Zealand, scientists said Wednesday, Kyodo reports.
Although long-extinct, the Heracles inexpectatus so named because of its great size and strength as well as its unexpected discovery was found among fossils dating back 19 million years in Central Otago, in the southeast of New Zealand's South Island.
The Heracles inexpectatus was roughly twice the size of the critically endangered kakapo, a flightless bird also from New Zealand that is the world's largest living parrot.
Trevor Worthy, associate professor at Flinders University in Adelaide, said in a statement that while New Zealand is well known for its giant birds, including the now-extinct flightless moa, "until now, no one has ever found an extinct giant parrot anywhere."
Researcher Mike Archer, a professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, said the ancient bird's size meant it would have sat higher in the food chain compared to other parrots.
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," he said.
Source: Kazinform News Agency
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