Fossil remains discovered by researchers in Taurida Cave, located on the Black Sea’s northern coast, show that a 12 foot tall bird, as huge as the New Zealand moa, once roamed Europe along with our early human relatives around 2 million years ago.
According to the researchers, the flightless bird, thrice the size of an ostrich, weight around 450kgs and is believed to have been a source of bones, meat, feather as well as eggshell for the early humans.
Previously, the researchers believed that such huge bird might have only lived on islands located in New Zealand, Madagascar and Australia. However, the discovery about this extinct bird, which was made recently in a study, offers a lot of new valuable information to the researchers in terms of their interactions and lives along with other species who lived then.
The giant bird, dubbed as Pachystruthio dmanisensis, is the first bird of such size to have been found in northern hemisphere. Though the bird may be flightless, but according to the lead author of the study, Nikita Zelenkov from the Russian Academy of Sciences, it was still very fast. The femur of the bird is pretty comparable to the ostriches and smaller species of terror birds and moa. However, speed might have been extremely essential for the survival of the bird.
Besides this, the researchers also discovered fossil remains of massive carnivores belonging to the Ice Age era which includes giant hyenas, cheetah, bison as well as sabre toothed cats.
Notably, the study appears in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.