Australia: Fossil of Oldest Koala-hunting eagle discovered
Scientists have excavated the remains of an ancient eagle near a barren, dried-up lake in Southern Australia.
- This majestic bird is believed to be 25 million years old when the land of southern Australia was teemed with lush forests.
- For eagle, this part of the land was teemed with helpless prey.
- It was found near Australia’s Lake Pinpa, which is now-deserted.
- Discovery includes a whopping 63 well-kept fossils which also comprises the entirety of the eagle’s skeleton.
Fossil of Koala-hunting eagle
Koala-hunting eagle was slightly smaller and leaner than the wedge-tailed eagle. However, its the largest eagle known in Australia, found about 25 million years ago. They are known as wedge-tail, or wedgies in Australia. They had a broad-winged bird of prey, similar to size of bald eagle of America.
Significance of the study
It is rare to find even one bone from a fossil eagle. Thus, finding most of the skeleton becomes significant. These plentiful fossils are a rare find and they belong to one the of the oldest & mightiest eaglelike raptors across the world.
Eagles stand at the apex of the food chain, with preying on squirrels, prairie dogs and rabbits. They use sky as their safe haven and are always fewer in number. As a result, they are infrequently preserved as fossils.
They are scientifically known as Aquila audax and are the largest bird of prey in Australia. They are also found in southern New Guinea. They have a long, fairly broad wings and fully feathered legs. They are one among 12 species of large, dark-coloured booted eagles in the genus Aquila. The prey have a wingspan of up to 2.84 m and length of up to 1.06 m.
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