In Australia, 40 thousand years ago, the giant bird named “Thunder Bird” became extinct. For so long, the disease of the bones of the bird and the origin of man were blamed for this. However, a new study has revealed different information. It is said that the reason for the bird’s disappearance is climate change.
The Guardian newspaper reports that the scientific name of Thunder Bird is ‘Dromornithidae’. Fossils of the bird were found in the northern Flinders Ranges region of Australia and near the town of Alice Spring. Scientists have got a new idea about the reproduction of the bird by analyzing the fossil sample.
Researching those fossils shows that the size and reproductive cycle of the Thunderbird has changed over thousands of years. The birds could not adapt to the changing climate. Professor Anusua Chinsamy Turan of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, said, ‘It is sad but true that these magnificent birds have been challenged by climate change. Because then the climate of Australia became warmer and drier.
To understand why the thunderbird could not coexist with humans like the Australian emu, the professor feels that it is important to know the duration of the bird’s maturity and reproductive capacity.
The first and largest species of the family Dromornithidae was ‘Dromornis stirtoni’. 7 million years ago they roamed the earth. Dromornis stirtoni was 3 meters tall and weighed 600 kg. It takes up to 15 years for the bird to be fully grown and capable of breeding.
The last and smallest species of Dromornithididae family is ‘Jeniornis newtni’. The bird was seen in the late Pleistocene period. At that time the climate was very dry and there was a great difference in the weather of the seasons. Natural calamities such as droughts occurred at untimely times.
Geniornis newtoni weighed 240 kg, six times more than the emu. This species matures faster than Dromornis stirtoni. It takes one to two years to become fertile. Then the child would start giving birth. However, this period is longer than the reproductive period of modern birds.
Professor Trevor Ordi of Flinders University in Australia has researched the Thunderbird fossil with Professor Anusuya Chinsamy. He said the thunderbird lived alongside the emus long before it became extinct. The Geniornis newtni species of bird was better adapted to the environment than the previous species and survived for two million years. However, their reproductive capacity and speed of reproduction were lower than that of emus.
He also said that the emu encountered humans in Australia about 50,000 years ago. The bird survives because of its ability to reproduce. Within 10,000 years, the Thunderbird became extinct.