|Dromornis Credit: thevintagenews|
|A fossil (cast) of the extinct Dromornis stirtoni from Australia. Photographed at Dinoday 2009 By Kevmin – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0|
Sometimes referred to as “Stirton’s thunder birds” or Mihirung birds, Dromornis stirtoni was around 3 meters (9.8 ft) tall and weighed up to 650kg. With a long neck and stub-like wings, the giant birds were taller then Aepyornis and heavier than the Moa. Even though Dromornis stirtoni had really strong and powerful legs it is not believed to have been a fast runner.The bird’s beak was large and immensely strong, leading some researchers to hypothesize that it was a herbivore that used its beak to shear through tough plant stalks. However, others theories suggest that the bird was a carnivore, due to the size of the bird’s beak.
|D. stirtoni, artist’s impression Photo Credit|
Dromornis was sexually dimorphic. Males were more robust and heavier, though not necessarily taller, than females.It inhabited subtropical open woodlands in Australia during the Late Miocene to the early Pliocene. There were forests and a constant water supply at Alcoota, one area where the Dromornis birds lived, albeit the climate was very changeable.
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