This extremely massive bird would scare anyone!
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/8/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Scientists from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in North Carolina have identified the fossils of what could be the largest flying bird ever found.
P. sandersi is an ancient bird that could have had a wingspan between 20 and 24 feet.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The fossil belongs to Pelagornis sandersi, a bird with an estimated 20-to-24-foot wingspan, twice the size of today's biggest flying bird, the royal albatross.
These researchers believe that P. sandersi lived between 25-28 million years ago.
This avian giant had long, slender wings and paper-thin, hollow bones that allowed it to stay aloft for long distances without having to flap its wings, the center said.
The P. sandersi may have been so big that it wouldn't have been able to take off from a standstill. Instead, P. sandersi may have had to run downhill into a headwind to achieve takeoff-just like a hang glider would.
This massive bird's fossils were first unearthed 31 years ago, when construction workers started working on a new terminal at Charleston International Airport in South Carolina. The remains, which included a complete skull and multiple wing and leg bones, were so big they had to be dug up with a backhoe.
The discovery wasn't publicized until this week though, when scientists unveiled their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
These massive remains now rest in the Charleston Museum. The big bird's name honors a retired curator at the museum, Albert Sanders.
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