IPFS News Link • Archaeology

Ancient geese stood 3 metres tall and weighed as much as a cow

• arclein

The newly discovered skull is the first from the extinct species found since 1913 and the only one preserved well enough to allow detailed anatomical study. It is thought that G. newtoni weighed about 230 kilograms and stood over 2.5 metres tall. However, its close relative, Dromornis stirtoni, reached heights well over 3 metres and weighed up to 600 kilograms, making it not just a contender for biggest bird ever, but by far the largest goose. When the first thunder bird fossils were found in the 19th century, they were thought to be the ancestors of the ratites, which include emus, cassowaries and ostriches. Others have since argued that the group, formally called the Dromornithidae and comprising eight known species, should be categorised as land fowl, which includes chickens and pheasants.