Gastornis flightless bird preying on Eohippus, illustration

Gastornis flightless bird preying on Eohippus, illustration

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Credit: JOHN SIBBICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Gastornis flightless bird preying on Eohippus, illustration. Gastornis was a large flightless bird that lived between the late Paleocene (55 million years ago) and the middle Eocene (45 million years ago). Also known as Diatryma, it grew up to 2 metres tall and possessed a huge sharp beak and large powerful legs with sharp talons. This suggests it was a predator and probably hunted using ambush methods or pack hunting. Eohippus, also known as Hyracotherium, lived during the Eocene between 60 and 45 million years ago. It is thought to be the first true horse. It measured 20 centimetres high at the shoulder and 60 centimetres in length.

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