Thursday, December 09, 2010

Small People, Big Bird

The BBC is reporting on a fossil discovery on the island of Flores, the last known home of Homo floresiensis. The size of the bird: 1.8 meters tall. Emma Brennand writes:

The bones, thought to be belong to a single stork, are between 20,000 to 50,000 years old, having been found in sediments dating to that age.

The giant bird is the latest extreme-sized species to be discovered once living on the island, which was home to dwarf elephants, giant rats and out-sized lizards, as well as humans of small stature.

"I noticed the giant stork bones for the first time in Jakarta, as they stood out from the rest of the smaller bird bones. Finding large birds of prey is common on islands, but I wasn't expecting to find a giant marabou stork," Dr Meijer told the BBC.

She also writes that it might have been able to prey on the hominins, but there is no evidence that it did. What the heck is in the water out there?

Now playing: Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Fanfare For The Common Man
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