Like in “Lord of the Rings”: An extinct species of eagle with giant wings has been found

Giant animals are always admired for their strength, and birds are no exception to this rule. Thanks to the new research, the list of giants has been replenished with a new specimen, but it is extinct.

Extinct birds of prey resemble the eagles Tolkien dreamed up in The Lord of the Rings, according to a new study. According to Live Science, although they weren’t that big, the birds could probably lift a child or a hobbit.

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Named “Dynatoaetus gaffae” or Gaff’s eagle, the new species is described based on fossils found in South Australia between 1959 and 2021. Based on the bones of the wings, legs, chest, skull and claws, scientists determined that these birds have an incredible wingspan – up to 3 meters, and the length of their claws reached 30 centimeters.

“It was huge,” said co-author Trevor Worthy, a vertebrate paleontologist at Flinders University in Australia.

The researcher added that the species lived between 50,000 and 700,000 years ago and was probably the largest eagle on the planet at that time.

At that time, Australia was home to a variety of gigantic animals, including large flightless birds, monitor lizards, marsupial bears, and giant kangaroos. Researchers believe that the Gaff eagle can prey on the offspring or sick representatives of this species. Such prey would be the size of a modern western gray kangaroo, growing to about 1.3 meters tall. According to the Lord of the Rings books, hobbits were about 1 meter tall, so in theory eagles could carry hobbits at best.

The Gaff’s eagle has a body shape similar to the eagles of the genus Spilornis, the largest of which preys on monkeys, lemurs and bats, as well as young pigs and deer. This species has large and strong legs for their size, which allows them to attack and take large prey. The Australian giant had the same characteristics, judging by the fossils found.

This is not the only ancient eagle seen in Australia in recent years. In 2021, researchers discovered a previously unknown species, Archaehierax sylvestris, that probably preyed on large koalas about 25 million years ago.

Previously Focus He talked about how scientists plan to resurrect the extinct Dodo bird. If successful, it will be the first resurrection of an extinct species.

We also talked about a prehistoric insect that turned out to be alive. It reaches the dinosaurs in the age.

Source: Focus


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