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Rare skull of an extinct, massive ‘thunder bird' discovered in Australia

·1 min

For over a century, scientists have been searching for skull fossils of the thunder bird species Genyornis newtoni. These large birds, also known as mihirungs, roamed Australia around 50,000 years ago. The recently discovered complete skull of G. newtoni has provided insights into the bird’s appearance and biology. The bird stood about 7 feet tall and weighed up to 529 pounds and had a beak resembling that of a goose. The skull also revealed adaptations for feeding on soft fruits and possibly in water. The findings shed new light on the dromornithid group to which G. newtoni belonged. Further fossil discoveries may contribute more to our understanding of this extinct bird.