Fossil may be the largest flying bird ever
A collection of fossilized bones found during the expansion of an airport in the U.S. may have belonged to the largest flying bird ever found.
The prehistoric creature, which took to the skies 25 million years ago, had a wingspan of between 6.1 and 7.4 metres and could glide for long distances over oceans as it searched for fish.
The new discovery’s wingspan is twice that of the royal albatross, the largest flying bird alive today, and challenges the Argentavis magnificens for the largest wingspan title, potentially topping magnificens’ 5.5 - 7 metre wingspan.
The Pelagomis sandersi had short stumpy legs and is thought to have taken off by hooping off the edge of cliffs.
While airborne it reached speeds of up to 60 kilometres (37 miles) per hour.
North Carolina State University’s Daniel Ksepka says, “This was a remarkable fossil, almost like something out of Game of Thrones. It could probably travel for extreme distances using a very, very small amount of energy.”