A giant Flesh-Eating Stork Was Able to Fly, New Fossils Show

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Excavation of fragmentary skeletal remains found on the island Flores, Indonesia in October 2004 yielded “the greatest find in human evolution for over 100 years.” Archaeologists found a previously unknown species of human in the Liang Bua cave’s sediments, which range from 60,000 to 100,000 years old. Homo floresiensis, Media call it “The media’s slang for the word”The HobbitDue to its smaller size, this hominid is considered “

H. floresiensis It displays unusual anatomical characteristics, including a cranial volume of only 380 milliliters. This suggests a brain that is less than one-third as large as the average modern person’s and short thigh bone lengths which were used in reconstructing a hominid measuring just 1.06 meters high.

The Liang Bua Cave also had bones from rodents with extraordinary sizes, pigmy horses, and an oversized Komodo-dragon species. It also contained fragmentary remains of a huge bird.

Leptoptilos robustusThe first fossil bird species to be described from Flores is this. This species is now extinct marabou StorkThe giant stood 1.8 meters tall and towered over all the rest. H. floresiensis.

According to research, this was the conclusion of previous research. L. robustusOriginated from a smaller Asian species, the bird was too large and heavy for flight. Birds will reduce the size of their wings when they are on islands with no natural enemies. They prefer to walk on the ground and hunt for prey. The rising sea levels cut Flores’ island from the mainland during the Pleistocene (about two million years) The island was never visited by large carnivorous mammals. Leptoptilosevolved to become an apex prey and scavenger of the local ecosystem.

Recent excavations have revealed that there are wing bones. Leptoptilos were well developed. The skeletal system was not reduced as in modern flightless birds such as ostriches. This indicates that strong muscles were attached to bones and allowed for powered flight.

It isn’t clear if LeptoptilosActively preyed on Homo floresiensisWhy fossils of? H. floresiensis These were all found together and buried with Leptoptilos bones. It is possible that the birds went to Liang Bua cave looking for carcasses of meat from animals they had killed. H. floresiensis.Stone tools have been discovered to show that, despite having a smaller brain, this human species was capable of processing large prey and possibly even actively hunting it.

The paper “More bones Leptoptilos robustusFlores provides new insights into giant marabou-stork paleobiology, biogeography and biogeography” is published in Royal Society Open Science (2022).

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