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Giant fossil bird found on 'hobbit' island of Flores

A giant marabou stork has been discovered on an island once home to human-like 'hobbits'.
Fossils of the bird were discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores, a place previously famed for the discovery of Homo floresiensis, a small hominin species closely related to modern humans.
The stork may have been capable of hunting and eating juvenile members of this hominin species, say researchers who made the discovery, though there is no direct evidence the birds did so.

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Gastornis
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Fossil Discovered by WWU Geologists Proves Local Existence of Giant Flightless Bird 50 Million Years Ago

Fifty million years ago, when what is now Washington state was covered with a verdant subtropical rainforest, a 380-pound flightless bird called Diatryma stalked the floodplains of the regions meandering rivers.
Although Diatryma was long thought to have existed in this region, a recent discovery by geologists from Western Washington University of a fossilized footprint of this 7-foot-tall bird proves that it did indeed roam the forests of the Pacific Northwest, said George Mustoe, a paleontologist at WWU. In fact, the track is the worlds only known track of any giant extinct bird.

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Pelicans have sported big beaks for at least 30 million years, the discovery of an ancient pelican fossil reveals.
Researchers uncovered the remains of the earliest known pelican, including a preserved beak, in southwest France.
What has surprised them most about this ancient pelican is that it is almost identical to modern species.

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A 2500-year-old bird's nest has been discovered on a cliff in Greenland.
The nesting site is still continually used by gyrfalcons, the world's largest species of falcon, and is the oldest raptor nest ever recorded.
Three other nests, each over 1000 years old, have also been found, one of which contains feathers from a bird that lived more than 600 years ago.

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Rooks make hooks (and other tools) in labs but not in wild
Crows are known for their above-bird-brain intelligence, and New Caledonian crows have been observed using tools in their day-to-day lives. Other members of the crow family, however--such as rooks--don't seem to have this tool-using tendency in their natural habitats. But researchers at U.K. universities Cambridge and Queen Mary have shown that in a lab setting, hand-raised rooks quickly began using tools when faced with a challenge.

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Dasornis Emuinus
A 50 million year old skull reveals that huge birds with a 5 meter wingspan once skimmed across the waters that covered what is now London, Essex and Kent. These giant ocean-going relatives of ducks and geese also had a rather bizarre attribute for a bird: their beaks were lined with bony-teeth.
Described today in the journal Palaeontology, the skull belongs to Dasornis, a bony-toothed bird, or pelagornithid, and was discovered in the London Clay, which lies under much of London, Essex and northern Kent in SE England. The occurrence of bony-toothed birds in these deposits has been known for a long time, but the new fossil is one the best skulls ever found, and preserves previously unknown details of the anatomy of these strange creatures.

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Magpies can recognise themselves in a mirror, scientists have found - the first time self-recognition has been observed in a non-mammal.
Until relatively recently, humans were thought to be uniquely self-aware.

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Confuciusornis sanctus
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The world's earliest beaked bird has been discovered in a Chinese province northeast of Beijing, according to a story in the Oct. 19, 1995, issue of Nature magazine.
The bird, called Confuciusornis sanctus, or "the holy Confucius' bird," first flew in the late Jurassic Period, according to the Nature report, written by a team of four investigators that includes KU palaeontologist Larry Dean Martin. Until this discovery, it was thought that the only bird species to exist in the Jurassic, which fell between 195 million and 140 million years ago, was Archaeopteryx.

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Palaeontologists have discovered fossil remains in Scandinavia of parrots that have been pushing up daisies for more than 55 million years. Reported in the current issue of the journal Palaeontology, the fossils indicate that parrots once flew wild over what is now Norway and Denmark.
Parrots today live only in the tropics and southern hemisphere, but this new research, which was supported by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) and University College Dublin (UCD), suggests that they first evolved in the North, much earlier than had been thought.

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Details of a fabulous new fossil bird from the world-famous fossil deposits of Liaoning in China, are published this week in the journal Science in China. Details of the bird's bone structure and feathers are exquisitely preserved.
The new bird, Eoconfuciusornis is the oldest known confuciusornithid, a group unique to China. It therefore represents an early stage in bird evolution. Confuciusornithids lived from 120-131 million years ago and include the oldest birds with horny beaks.

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