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RE: Dromornis stritoni

>From CNN Interactive:

Paleontologists reconstruct world's largest bird

<Picture: Dromornis stirtoni>

Giant ancestor of ostrich and emu

August 14, 1997
Web posted at: 12:12 a.m. EDT (0412 GMT)

ALICE SPRINGS, Australia (CNN) -- A team of paleontologists has spent five 
years digging giant bones out of the sizzling Australian desert before 
reconstructing what is believed to be the biggest bird the world has ever 

It is called Dromornis stirtoni, which sounds like the name of an Italian 
soccer club, but scientists believe it is the giant ancestor of the ostrich 
and the emu.

As befits a bird 8 or 9 feet tall (3 meters) some of its bones are 
enormous. A toe bone is 10 times the size of a human finger. The jawbone is 
big enough to play tennis with. Slip a couple of lead plates on each end of 
the shin bone and a man could do bench presses with it.

<Picture: shin bone>

Scientists are not agreed whether dinosaurs were birds or not, and 
Dromornis won't solve the debate. What is beyond dispute is that they were 
big and powerful and, as Dr. Peter Murray puts it, "very successful and 
ancient living birds".

Certain varieties of the Dromornis stirtoni lived up to about 50,000 years 
ago, Murray said. The modern day emu, which wandered the Australian outback 
when it was wetter and more heavily wooded than it is today, appears to be 
a scaled-down version of the giant Dromornis.

Murray said Dromornis "may have simply been replaced by successively 
smaller species, because they persist right up through the late tertiary 

-----Original Message-----
From:   Dinogeorge@aol.com [SMTP:Dinogeorge@aol.com]
Sent:   Friday, August 15, 1997 4:05 AM
To:     Bettyc@flyinggoat.com; dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject:        Re: Dromornis stritoni

In a message dated 97-08-15 03:21:04 EDT, Bettyc@flyinggoat.com (Bettyc)

<< CNN has an article on it with photos of the fossil mount-stood 3 meters
 high-about 18 feet >>

3 meters, or 18 feet? The two are nowhere near equal.