Ancient parrot in New Zealand was 3 feet tall, study reveals

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I really love birds, and I’m very fond of parrots that I consider really clever and jovial creatures, but meeting a 3 feet tall parrot, well…I can’t even imagine. Yet, according to a recent study it is exactly how tall a ancient parrot in New Zealand, use to stand.

A group of paleontologists have recently discovered the remains of an unusually massive parrot that roamed the New Zealand about 19 million years ago. The discovery was made near St Bathans in Otago region, in New Zealand, the BBC News reports.

The bones have been discovered more than 11 years ago and initially the experts thought they might come from an eagle. Until now, when they were re-analized. The study, published on Tuesday in the journal Biology Letters, reveals the giant parrot would have weight around 15 pounds and stand up to 3 feet tall.

“The large and robust nature of the fossil (least-shaft circumference 35.8 mm) leads to an inferred body mass of 6.96 kg (15lbs).[That means] more than twice the mass of the largest known parrot, kakapo,” the study reads.

“There are no other giant parrots in the world,” Professor Trevor Worthy, the lead author of the study, told the BBC. “Finding one is very significant.”

According to the researchers, the massive parrot, named Heracles would not have been able to fly, given its solid bones. As about its habitat, professor Worthy declared: “It lived in a subtropical rainforest where there were abundant laurels, palms, cycads and casuarina trees — all produce fruit and seeds that this parrot would have eaten.”

As about its extinction, the experts claims the “major candidate” was the disappearance of its main food source.

New Zealand it’s like a well spring when it comes to ancient fossils.”We have been excavating these fossil deposits for 20 years, and each year reveals new birds and other animals… no doubt there are many more unexpected species yet to be discovered in this most interesting deposit,” Professor Worthy also told the BBC News.

In the video bellow you can see the biggest living birds in the world: