Birds three times larger than an Ostrich existed in Taurida Cave

Birds three times larger than an Ostrich existed in Taurida Cave: According to the latest discovery of researchers, early Europeans used to live along with some of the largest known birds ever, which are believed to be the source of meat for early humans. Earlier, it was thought that such gigantic size in birds only existed on the islands of Madagascar and New Zealand as well as Australia, but now the newly-discovered specimen, found in the Taurida Cave on the northern coast of the Black Sea, suggests that a bird as giant as the Madagascan elephant bird or New Zealand moa existed.

It might be the chances that they have been a source of meat, bones, feathers, and eggshell for early humans.

The lead author Dr Nikita Zelenkov in the study published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology said, “When I first felt the weight of the bird whose thigh bone I was holding in my hand, I thought it must be a Malagasy elephant bird fossil because none of this size birds have ever been reported from Europe. However, the structure of the bone unexpectedly told a different story.”

He further added, “We don’t have enough data yet to say whether it was most closely related to ostriches or to other birds, but we estimate it weighed about 450kg. This formidable weight is nearly double the largest moa, three times the largest living bird, the common ostrich, and nearly as much as an adult polar bear.”

It is the first time in the history that such a huge bird has been reported from anywhere in the northern hemisphere. Although it is believed that the species was known previously as well but no one has ever tried to calculate the size of this animal. Attributing to the species Pachystruthio dmanisensis, the flightless bird,  was probably at least 3.5 meters tall and would have towered above early humans. It may have been flightless but it was also fast.

Other fossils discovered alongside the specimen, such as bison, help date it to 1.5 to 2 million years ago. A similar range of fossils was discovered at an archaeological site in the town in Georgia, the oldest hominin site outside Africa. Although previously neglected by science, this suggested the giant bird may have been typical of the animals found at the time when the first hominins arrived in Europe. The authors suggested it reached the Black Sea region via the Southern Caucasus and Turkey.