Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Mythical bird truly lived in ancient era


University of Portsmouth scientists have suggested that an enormous bird, called Samrukia Nessovi after the mythical Kazakh Phoenix, actually existed at the time of the dinosaurs.

The ostrich-like prehistoric creature which lived alongside dinosaurs around 83 million years ago, could have stood about 10 feet tall according to recent research publish in Discovery News reports.

Researchers suggest in the latest Royal Society Biology Letters publication that these gigantic birds lived in a region which is now called Kazakhstan.

“Lived alongside Cretaceous non-avian dinosaurs, (the existence of these giant birds supports the idea that the Cretaceous wasn’t a non-avian dinosaurs only theme park,” said an honorary research associate at the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of Portsmouth, Darren Naish.

“They were important and big in ecological terms, but there was at least some space for other land animals,” he added.

Naish and his team reached this conclusion after they identified the fossil for Samrukia, while previously it had been known by some experts as a type of feathered dinosaur.

Evidenced by the big bird’s fossil in which only the toothless lower jaw survives, the structure and characteristics of the jaw are associated with birds and not non-avian dinosaurs, the researchers suggest.

The big bird is now the second known large avian from the dinosaur era. The first identified one identified was Gargantuavis Philoinos, which is believed to have lived in southern France around 70 million years ago.

The researchers also say these huge birds may have been flightless and ostrich-like.


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