Stunning proof of giant 10ft eagles found after 50,000 years – with mind-blowing consequences for Lord of the Rings fans
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RESEARCHERS have uncovered fossils in Australia that belonged to a species of extinct giant eagles.
The huge birds resembled the fictional giant eagles in The Lord of the Rings, per Live Science.
Scientists shared the interesting findings in a new study published in the Journal of Ornithology.
The fossils of the newfound species, dubbed Gaff’s powerful eagle or Dynatoaetus gaffae, were found between 1959 and 2021.
Researchers unearthed the bones in a 56-foot-deep vertical cave in the state of South Australia.
Among the fossils collected were wings, legs, talons, a breastbone, and a skull.
After further analysis of the findings, researchers believe that the bird’s talons likely measured around 12 inches.
The extinct bird also had a massive wingspan of around 10 feet – making it Australia’s largest known predatory bird.
“It was humongous,” said study co-author Trevor Worthy, a vertebrate paleontologist at Flinders University in Australia.
Despite this size, The Lord of The Rings’ fictional eagles had around 65 feet on D. Gaffea’s wingspan.
Scientists estimated that the eagles lived between 50,000 and 700,000 years ago.
They added that it was very likely that the bird was the largest eagle on the planet at the time.
The birds were not the only giant creature to roam around Australia at that time.
There were also large flightless birds, giant kangaroos, lizards, and bear-like marsupials, Live Science said.