Dromornis stirtoni and its young, illustration

Dromornis stirtoni and its young, illustration

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Credit: JAIME CHIRINOS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dromornis stirtoni and its young, illustration. This extinct species is believed to be the heaviest bird that ever lived. Dromornis lived in Australia from the late Miocene (6 million years ago) to the early Pliocene (1.8 million years ago). It stood over 3 metres tall and weighed over 500 kilograms. It had a large sharp beak that suggests it may have been a carnivore, but it did not have the large sharp claws of most predators, so may have been a scavenger. Dromornis is related to modern day ducks, geese and swans.

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