About 19 million years ago, the world’s largest parrot lived in New Zealand and used its massive beak to crack open food, according to a new study.
The parrot stood over 3 feet tall and weighed about 15.5 pounds. The fossils were found among others dating to 19 million years ago near St. Bathans in Central Otago, New Zealand. This area is known for its bird fossils dating back to the Miocene period, which ranges between 5.3 and 23 million years ago.
A study describing the bird published Tuesday in the journal Biology Letters.
“New Zealand is well known for its giant birds,” says Trevor Worthy, study author and Flinders University associate professor. “Not only moa dominated avifaunas, but giant geese and adzebills shared the forest floor, while a giant eagle ruled the skies. But until now, no one has ever found an extinct giant parrot – anywhere.”