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Giant Cretaceous flightless bird



The current issue of _Science_ (January 9, 1998) carries a news report on page
183 of a new genus and species of ostrichlike bird from the Upper Cretaceous
(about 72 Ma) of southern France. Named _Gargantuavis philoinos_ by Eric
Buffetaut and Jean Le Loeuff, the bird is to be described in the January issue
of _Journal of the Geological Society_. The report features a picture of the
pelvis and sacrum, a fused assemblage of 10 vertebrae about 20 cm across by 18
cm long in ventral view. The authors assert that the "dinosaur" eggs
discovered in this region of France might actually have been laid by such
large, flightless birds, whose weight they estimate at about 141 kg. It's "the
oldest flightless bird of this size yet discovered," the authors assert.

Except for such theropods as _Coelophysis_ and _Dilophosaurus_, of course (heh
heh)...