The five: extinct megafauna



Following last week’s discovery of the remains of a giant bird, we look at some of the most formidable beasts on record

Last week, researchers published a paper about the remains of a giant flightless bird found in a Crimean cave. Pachystruthio dmanisensis is believed to be from a family of prehistoric birds with powerful legs and large beaks, present across North America, Asia and Europe. The gigantic creature could grow to 3.5 metres in height and weigh about 450kg. By contrast, the ostrich is the largest living flightless bird and can reach 2.7 metres and weigh 150kg. The exact reason for Pachystruthio’s extinction is unknown, though it may have been due to some of the deadliest predators of the last ice age.

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