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A new study reveals ‘Thunderbird’ is extinct due to climate change

A new study reveals ‘Thunderbird’ is extinct due to climate change


In Australia, 40 thousand years ago, the giant bird named “Thunder Bird” became extinct. Until now, researchers thought the bird’s bone disease and roaming of men caused the extinction. However, a new study has revealed that the bird’s disappearance is due to climate change.

According to the report in the Guardian, the scientific name of the Thunder Bird is ‘ Dromornithidae.’ Fossils of the bird were found in the northern Flinders Ranges region of Australia and near the town of Alice Springs. Scientists have a new idea about bird reproduction by analyzing fossil samples.

Researching those fossils shows that the size and reproductive cycle of the Thunderbird have changed over thousands of years. The birds could not adapt to the changing climate.

Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan, Professor of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, said, ‘It is sad but true that these magnificent birds were challenged by climate change. Because then the climate of Australia became warmer and drier.”

The professor feels that it is essential to know the bird’s maturity and reproductive capacity duration to understand why the Thunderbird could not coexist with humans like the Australian emu.

The first and most prominent species of the family Dromornithidae was ‘Dromornis stirtoni‘. Seven million years ago, they roamed the earth. Dromornis stirtoni was 3 meters tall and weighed 600 kg. It takes up to 15 years for the bird to be fully grown and capable of breeding.

The last and smallest species of the Dromornithididae family is ‘Jeniornis newtni’. The bird has seen in the late Pleistocene period. At that time, the climate was arid, and there was a significant difference in the weather of the seasons.

Natural calamities such as droughts occurred at untimely times. Geniornis newtoni weighed 240 kg, six times more than the emu. This species matures faster than Dromornis stirtoni.

It takes one to two years to become fertile. Then the child would start giving birth. However, this period is longer than the reproductive period of modern birds.

Professor Trevor Ordi of Flinders University in Australia has researched the Thunderbird fossil with Professor Anusuya Chinsamy. He commented the Thunderbird lived alongside the emus long before it became extinct.

The Genyornis newtoni species of bird was better adapted to the environment than the previous species and survived for two million years. However, their reproductive capacity and reproduction speed were lower than that of emus.

He also said that the emu encountered humans in Australia about 50,000 years ago. The bird survives because of its ability to reproduce. Within 10,000 years, the Thunderbird became extinct.

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