Prehistoric Birds: Get to Know Them All

A long time ago, birds existed on earth that were very different from those we know today. In fact, many of them were so large that they were even larger than the largest birds that exist today. For this reason, we will learn a little about prehistoric birds.

It is believed that birds evolved from dinosaurs; and that as time went by, they adapted to their habitats, developing their habits and customs; and in this way, nowadays there are countless species of birds, ranging from very small birds, such as the hummingbird, to those that are very large, such as the condor.

It should also be noted that there are birds that fly, while others do not; and there are even birds that are seabirds.This means that there is a whole system to classify birds according to their habits, habitat, as well as common traits. But it is better, in this case, to know a little more about those that existed a long time ago and ceased to exist for different reasons: the prehistoric birds.

Prehistoric birds: origin

As already mentioned, it is believed that prehistoric birds evolved or developed from dinosaurs. Although these birds do not exist today, thanks to paleontological studies that have been carried out in many parts of the world, remains of prehistoric birds have been discovered.

In this way, it has been possible to determine the origin and some characteristics of these birds, as well as to devise a classification system to determine what type of bird they must have been. Thus, with the passage of time, classification and study techniques have improved. This has allowed scientists to be more specific in these investigations.

However, what has been most successful are DNA studies. These have been able to determine what type of prehistoric bird they have found; in addition to being able to determine a relationship with the birds that exist today with prehistoric birds.

Although there are still some questions and concerns about prehistoric birds, today we can be sure of some types of these birds. Below we will show some of them.

Elephant bird

According to studies and findings that have been made, this was a bird that measured about three meters high and a length of about two meters, it is believed to be one of the largest birds that came to exist on earth.

This bird is believed to have originated in Madagascar, as this is the site where the greatest number of fossil records have been found. In addition, its weight is estimated to have been about five hundred kilograms.

On the other hand, the eggs of these prehistoric birds were very large. They had a circumference of almost one meter. Incredible as it may seem, this bird became extinct around the 17th century, and remains of the eggs, as well as their bones, can be found today.

Giant bird

This bird is also known as the bird from hell, or stampede bird. It is a bird that, like the elephant bird, was also large in size. But in this case, the giant emu inhabited Australia.

According to findings from the fossil record, as well as DNA analysis, this bird, which is part of the prehistoric birds, is a distant relative of waterfowl, such as ducks and geese. The giant emu could not fly, but it could run, reaching great speeds.

The largest specimen was up to three meters tall, and could weigh up to five hundred grams. It is thought that they were omnivorous birds; and there are also those who relate them to ostriches.

This species of prehistoric birds lived, as already mentioned, in the Australian continent, long before humans appeared on earth; that is, from the late Miocene to the beginning of the Pliocene.

Teratornitidae

Teratornitidae are the ancestors of all the condors, as well as the stork. This family of birds lived during the Pleistocene period. These birds were about seventy-five to nearly one meter tall; however, some species could reach a wingspan of up to about five meters.

As can be seen, their wings were very long, and they became imposing birds. In fact, they were much larger than the modern condor, which holds the record for being the largest bird in the world in terms of wingspan.

In addition, they were lethal predatory birds. For this reason, they are also known as monster birds.