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Re: Dromornis stritoni
I didn't see any news report of this, but it sounds legitimate to me.
Australia did indeed have an extinct megafauna. Dromornis was a large
Emu-like flightless bird. The present-day emu (Dromaius
novaehollandiae) is up to 2m tall, although its precise relationship
the extinct Dromornothids is uncertain.
Dromornithids (aka Mihirungs) consist of 5 known genera and 8 species,
represented by bones, eggshells, gizzard stones, footprints and
trackways. They became extinct about 26,000 years ago.
Ref: Rich, P.V. (1979), 'The Dromornithidae, an extinct family of
ground birds endemic to Australia' Bulletin of the Bureau of Mineral
Resources Australia 184, p1-196.
Pat Rich has published extensively on the extinct megafauna, which
included Diprotodon, a wombat-like animal about the size of a
hippopotamus, and 3m+ tall kangaroos. There is much debate about
whether their demise was caused by climate change or by the arrival of
humans and associated increase in fire frequency about 100,000 years
I imagine the 'as big as an elephant' remark refers more to height