It seems that more and more previously unknown prehistoric creatures are being unearthed these days, proving that “whatever is old ends up becoming new again.”
While we recently reported on two new types of dinosaurs, the “stocky dragon” of Romania and “the carnivorous camel” of Spain, maintenance workers discovered the almost intact skeleton of a 3 million year old whale buried beneath the San Diego Zoo just last Thursday while using an excavating machine to dig a hole for a new storm water runoff tank.
Now, add to these a remarkable giant seabird with a 17-foot wingspan and sharp, spiny “pseudoteeth”, making it one of the biggest flying birds known at this point.
“The specimen includes the largest and most complete fossil bird wing yet excavated. Previous bony-toothed bird fossils included wings dug up in pieces, if it all, making it harder to accurately establish wingspan,” exclaimed David Rubilar of the Museo Nacional de Historia Nature in Chile, where the (70% complete) specimen was found.
Named Pelagornis chilensis, the bird is believed to have lived some 5-10 million years ago. Rubilar also explained that the hollow spikes on the birds’ beaks “allowed the predators to grab slippery squid and fish from the ocean.”
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