Source: National Geographic
By Jenny Howard
Almost two million years ago, giant hyenas, saber-toothed cats, and camels roamed across the European continent, perhaps sometimes clashing with a few of our early human relatives. Now, in a surprise to paleontologists, it seems these Pleistocene mammals and our hominin cousins also shared their domain with an enormous bird that was almost 12 feet tall.
The discovery, described today in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, represents the first giant flightless bird known to have lived in the Northern Hemisphere. The extinct animal, dubbed Pachystruthiodmanisensis, weighed in at a whopping 990 pounds—almost three times as much as its closest living relative, the ostrich.