Meet the ‘Hercules Parrot’ from prehistoric New Zealand – the biggest ever discovered

Trevor Worthy, R. Paul Scofield

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

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Say hello to Heracles inexpectatus, a parrot the size of a human child. But don’t worry, you won’t meet one face to face. Our new discovery, published today, lived around 20 million years ago in what is now New Zealand – adding to the islands’ rich and storied collection of remarkable bird species.

Heracles was truly a giant among birds. It was about 1m long, stood 80-90cm tall, and weighed about 7kg. That makes it about the same size as a dodo, and far bigger than its modern-day cousin, the kākāpō. Unsurprisingly, given its heft, it was likely also flightless.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2019

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  • evolution
  • megafauna
  • parrots
  • dodo


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