The area around Lake Pinpa in southern Australia is now a very dry desert. But this was completely different 25 million years ago: at that time, dense forest prevailed here, where a large eagle stood at the top of the food chain and hunted marsupials in the forest. At least that’s what Elaine Mather of Flinders University and her team read from the fossil remains Archaehierax sylvestrisIt was also called the bird. The group presents the discovery in “Historical Biology”.
Fossils of birds, especially eagles, are rarely found, since hollow and light bones are often destroyed during fossilization. Mather and his colleagues were very pleased with their discovery. “Vultures are at the top of the food chain, so they rarely appear – especially as eagles. So it is very rare to find a bone at all. The fact that we now have a complete skeleton is quite remarkable, especially when you consider its age, says Trevor Worthy, the paleontologist involved in the study.
Archaehierax sylvestris So it was a little smaller than today’s big wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila Odax) Australia. But its tentacles are six inches in diameter, so it can kill and pull larger prey. On the contrary, the bones of its wings were relatively small for a bird of its size: it had rather short wings.
Scientists concluded that the eagle hunted in dense thickets, as it had to move quickly in the vegetation. At the same time, he was a rather slow pilot and seized his food as a hiding hunter who had to kill victims from the bunker. The predatory marsupials known to date from this time and the region were the size of dogs and cats and may have to be careful Archaehierax sylvestris did not kill. In addition, koalas, kangaroos and other herbivores as well as waterfowl were among the potential prey.
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