The ancient birds of Eastern Europe were three times larger than ostriches

The bones of an extinct giant bird that lived in Europe several million years ago were discovered in the Tauride Cave in the Crimea.
The expedition was carried out last summer, but experts still continue to study and identify paleontological finds.
“The remains were found at the bottom of the cave, where the lair of ancient hyenas was located,” said Nikita Zelenkov, an employee of the Borisyak Paleontological Institute .
The size of one bone was 75 centimeters. Scientists calculated that its owner reached 3.5 meters in height and weighed about 450 kg (for comparison, the weight of the modern ostrich is only 150 kg).
But the bird attracted the attention of paleontologists both in size and habitat, according to the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
In antiquity, several species of large flightless birds wandered across the continents of the Earth: moa lived in New Zealand, bulllocks lived in Australia, and elephant birds in Madagascar.
But European birds, as was believed until recently, in the last 2.5 million years, differed in average build.
The new find has disproved this theory.
The age of the bird, which received the name Pachystruthio dmanisensis, was estimated at 1.8 million years. The bones of the skull are not preserved, so it is impossible to say whether it was herbivorous or carnivorous.
The femur was thin enough. It can be assumed that the bird was a good runner, but, according to scientists, it could rather be compared with an elephant – individuals could run if it was really necessary, but mostly preferred to walk slowly.
The authors of the study believe that giant birds lived in large areas of Eastern Europe, and also possibly reached Western Europe and Asia.
Interestingly, Pachystruthio dmanisensis inhabited Eastern Europe around the time when Homo erectus was the first hominid to move from Africa to European and Asian lands.
It is not known whether these two species have been encountered, but this cannot be ruled out. It is known that members of the genus Homo successfully hunted giant birds and stole their eggs (this was how New Zealand moas were exterminated). Perhaps Pachystruthio dmanisensis also became prey for ancient hunters.
Earlier, paleontologists have figured out how pterodactyls learned to fly. It turned out that they could be lifted into the air immediately after hatching from the egg – no ancient bird or living bird possesses this ability.

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