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Bones found in South Australia belong to Australia's largest eagle: study

17 March 2023, 09:56
Bones found in South Australia belong to Australia's largest eagle: study Photo:

CANBERRA. KAZINFORM Bones discovered in a South Australian mountain range belonged to the country's largest bird of prey, research has found.

According to a study published by Flinders University on Thursday, the eagle - which has been named Dynatoaetus gaffae - soared over southern Australia more than 60,000 years ago, Xinhua reports.

With a wingspan up to 3 meters wide, it was twice the size of the modern wedge-tailed eagle, making it the largest bird of prey to ever live in Australia and possibly the largest continental eagle anywhere.

It had talons 30 cm long that were powerful enough to grab small kangaroos.

The first remains of the predator were found in the Flinders Ranges more than 300 km north of Adelaide in 1956.

However, it was not until Flinders University palaeontology researcher Ellen Mather led an expedition to the area late in 2021 that enough remains were found to figure out what the eagle was.

«We were very excited to find many more bones from much of the skeleton to create a better picture and description of these magnificent long-lost giant extinct birds,» Mather said in a statement.

«It's often been noted how few large land predators Australia had back then, so Dynatoaetus helps fill that gap.»

Researchers believed it likely died out along with its prey.

The team is hopeful of finding more fossils to shed further light on how the Dynatoaetus lived.

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