There have been many such unique creatures in the history of the world, which are known all over the world even today because of their specialties. But if I ask you, do you know which is the biggest bird ever in history? So surely you too must have been thinking for some time. So we are about to introduce you to the 7 world’s largest extinct birds some of which could not even fly due to their massive bodies.
List Of World’s Largest Extinct Birds
1. Giant Teratorn
Friends Teratorn was the 2nd Largest flying bird in the world extinct in terms of wingspan which was about 20 feet long. Another important thing about it was that it was the heaviest flying bird ever. This was the reason why the word Giant was added to his name. By the way, let us tell you that the weight of a Teratorn used to be from 154 to 170 pounds and it used to live in the area of Argentina about 6 million years ago.
The Giant Teratorn was very similar in appearance to the modern condor. Its legs were very strong and big, with the help of which they used to walk very well. Looking at the skull structure of Teratorn, it is estimated that Teratorn used to pounce on its prey without landing on the ground and swallowing it whole. Their life span was very long.
2. Pelagornis Sandersi
Pelagornis sandersi was the largest flying bird ever recorded. Its wings were 20 to 24 feet long, which in terms of wingspan was at least 2 to 3 times that of the largest living bird. There is only one known fossil of this bird that was discovered 25 million years ago in 1983 during the construction of a new terminal at Charleston International Airport in South Carolina.
Pelagornis sandersi used to weigh 50 to 88 pounds. In such a situation, there was a discussion among researchers many times about whether such a heavy bird could ever fly. However, looking at the theory of the flight mechanism of birds, they came to the conclusion that Pelagornis sandersi could easily fly.
3. Stirton’s Thunderbird
Stirton’s Thunderbird is also known as “Dromornis stirtoni”. These were found about 100 to 200 years ago from today. These were a part of a group of flightless birds called ‘Thunderbird demon ducks liya mariyams’. They are now completely extinct. Stirton’s thunderbird is also counted among the largest extinct birds in the world.
Fossils of Stirton’s Thunderbird were found in Australia, where the weight of their bones was 1100 pounds. From these fossils, researchers estimate that from 11 to 5 million years ago thunderbird bird lived in open forests in the subtropical region of Australia, like other flightless creatures. Despite having powerful legs and a long neck, it is believed that he was not a particularly fast runner. That is, they could not walk fast.
There is a difference of opinion among researchers about whether Stirtons thunderbird were vegetarian or non-vegetarian. It is said about them that their last species was alive till about 30 thousand years ago. Although one of the possible causes of their extinction is human activities, like most large ancient Australian animals, it is not clear whether the thunderbirds animal became extinct due to a combination of several factors or if any specific factor was responsible for it.
Some Australian Aboriginal rock paintings depict giant birds that may allude to the Thunderbird animal. Their footprints have also been found in the sand dunes of southern Australia.
4. Giant Moa
The Giant Moa that lived in New Zealand became extinct in the middle of the second millennium BC. It is also said to be the largest bird that ever lived which was once 12 feet in height and was one of the largest birds weighing around 500 to 600 pounds. Although it was seen only in the case of females. In fact, the physical difference between males and females was clearly visible in these birds. In these, females were up to one and a half times longer and three times heavier than males.
This was the reason that when the fossils of the bird Moa were discovered, they were mistakenly classified by researchers into different species. Moa bird had reddish brown feathers all over its body, which covered its entire body. These fans provided them with insulation and protection from the weather. They also could not fly. These were vegetarian birds.
Moa had large powerful legs and a long neck. Which helped them to reach tall vegetation, from which they could easily make their food. Friends, in the skeletons of birds like giant Moas, their long legs, neck, and their small pointed heads remind us of ancient reptiles. It is said that before humans reached New Zealand, the Moas bird used to rule the land there. but after the arrival of humans, they were hunted indiscriminately. After which they gradually went extinct.
5. Elephant Bird
Friends Elephant Bird was the largest bird ever, which was about 10 feet in height and weighed 770 to 1100 pounds. Like other giant birds, they too could not fly. Their optic lobes indicate that the Elephant Bird was a nocturnal animal. Two Elephant Bird eggs were found floating in Madagascar in the 1930s and 1992.
When the egg found in 1992 was examined by radiocarbon dating, it was found that this egg was about 2000 years old. Friends, the exact time of the extinction of Elephant Birds is not certain, but it is estimated that these large extinct birds became extinct between the 11th to 13th centuries.
The French governor of Madagascar wrote in the 17th century about a large bird that laid eggs like an ostrich. Friends, be it or not, it points towards the Elephant Bird. The reason for the extinction of this bird was also probably human activities. They were widely present throughout Madagascar.
But when people started hunting elephant birds and destroying their preferred habitats the species extinct. Today, the closest relative of the elephant bird is believed to be the New Zealand kiwi, which looks exactly like an ostrich.
Friends Brontornis was the largest carnivorous bird that once existed. These were found in South Africa. Their height used to be about 9.5 feet and their weight used to be from 750 to 1000 pounds. Which made Brontornis the third heaviest bird.
Brontornis was the largest land predator in the history of the world at its time. Its sheer size and its predatory lifestyle together earn it the name of terror bird.
They were so ferocious that they could easily hunt large animals, including elephants. Fossils of Brontornis have been found at two sites in Argentina’s Santa Cruz Province.
Friends, first of all, you should know that among the birds mentioned so far, only Elephant Birds and Giant Moa are birds that lay bigger eggs than an ostrich. Ostrich is also a flightless bird. They are fast runners that can run at 43 mph and can run at 34 mph for long periods of time. Ostriches usually spend their lives eating only plants.
Ostrich lives in groups of 5 to 50 birds. Also, they are not aggressive at all. Feeling threatened, they lie flat on the ground or run away. But when he feels that he has no means of defense, he is also known to use his legs to deliver a powerful kick.
Ostrich meat and eggs fetch a good price in the market. This is the reason that their population has declined rapidly in the last 200 years.
So these were the 7 largest extinct birds in the world. Which of these birds do you find most unique? Do tell us in the comment section below.