World’s oldest bird species discover

London,Sept 19 : Scientists have recently discovered the fossils of the ancestor of some of the largest flying birds in Waipara, North Canterbury.

They have identified the fossil of the Protodontopteryx ruthae- one of the oldest named bird species in the world. It lived in New Zealand not long after the dinosaurs died out.

Protodontopteryx ruthae was only the size of an average gull. Its descendants were some of the biggest flying birds ever, with wingspans of more than 5 meters. Like other members of its family, the seabird had bony, tooth-like projections on the edge of its beak.

The fossil was discovered last year by Amateur paleontologist Leigh Love at the Waipara Greensand fossil site. The bird was named Protodontopteryx ruthae after Love’s wife, Ruth.

Dr. Gerald Mayr of Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, Germany said, “the discovery of Protodontopteryx was truly amazing and unexpected.

Not only is the fossil one of the most complete specimens of a pseudotoothed bird, but it also shows several amazing skeletal features that contribute to a better understanding of the evolution of these enigmatic birds.”


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