NEW ZEALAND - Scientists have just discovered the fossil of a massive ancient “cannibal” parrot roughly the size of a toddler in New Zealand.
The giant avian, known scientifically as Heracles inexpectatus and dubbed by scientists “Squawkzilla,” likely towered over its modern day counterpart standing up to 4 feet in height and weighing as much as 15 pounds.
But this Polly most definitely did not want a cracker, because according to scientists, “Squawkzilla’s” massive beak allowed it to crack through anything it deemed delicious — including members of its own species.
Reconstruction of the giant parrot Heracles, dwarfing a bevy of 8cm high Kuiornis
"Heracles, as the largest parrot ever, no doubt with a massive parrot beak that could crack wide open anything it fancied, may well have dined on more than conventional parrot foods, perhaps even other parrots," said the study's co-author, Professor Mike Archer, in a statement.
According to researchers, the fossils were found to be up to 19 million years old in Central Otago, New Zealand in an area well known for its rich fossil deposits of birds from the Miocene period.
"New Zealand is well known for its giant birds," said Flinders University Associate Professor Trevor Worthy. "Not only moa dominated avifaunas, but giant geese and adzebills shared the forest floor, while a giant eagle ruled the skies. But until now, no-one has ever found an extinct giant parrot—anywhere.“
While “Squawkzilla” may be the biggest find yet, Worth believes this massive discovery is just the first of many.