Parrots are fascinating pets, but it appears that some of their ancestors were even more incredible. Fossils discovered in New Zealand prove that massive parrots once roamed on Earth. According to scientists, the birds reached the size of a 4-year old child.
“New Zealand is well known for its giant birds. Not only moa dominated avifaunas, but giant geese and adzebills shared the forest floor, while a giant eagle ruled the skies,” explained Trevor Worthy, Flinders University Associate Professor.
New Zealand is also known for the dodo bird, and scientists have also discovered giant ducks, as well as giant megapodes or giant. pigeons.
How did these parrots live?
The parrot was named Heracles and it was found near St Bathans in Central Otago. The place is well known for bird fossils from the Miocene. The scientists also revealed some details about the parrot’s lifestyle.
It was likely a flightless forager who ate abundantly on fruit and seeds but may have preyed on small animals that it could dig out of logs, or even snack on dead or dying moa – like kea still do with sheep. We have been excavating these fossil deposits for 20 years, and each year reveals new birds and other animals,” added Associate Professor Worthy.
More than that, it appears that the parrot was a real threat. Its size and its beak represented a danger for smaller animals, including other parrots. The bird weighed in at around 7 kg and it lived in a subtropical forest.
“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,” reported Professor Mike Archer, from the UNSW Sydney Palaeontology, Geobiology and Earth Archives (PANGEA) Research Centre.
Stephen D. James is a Senior Politics Reporter at Debate Report covering provincial and national politics, . Before joining Debate Report, Jeff worked on several provincial campaigns including Jack Layton. Stephen has worked as a freelance journalist in Toronto, having been published by over 20 outlets including CBC, the Center for Media and VICE.com.