Fossils of Giant Prehistoric Geese Discovered in Australia

Fang Hong

PureInsight | November 25, 2002

On August 15th 2002, Australian scientists unearthed fossils of giant geese from a prehistoric period. The fossils were found at Alcoota near Utopia in the central Australian desert. It is estimated that these kinds of geese, weighing up to half a ton, were living eight million years ago. International media including AFP and Reuters reported on the discovery.

Paleontologist Peter Murray and his research group from the Museum of Central Australia discovered the fossils. When interviewed by Reuters, Murray said: "This is a giant bird, a bird that is extraordinarily giant. However, it is obvious that it is a goose." So far, there has been considerable controversy among paleontologists about whether the goose is carnivorous or herbivorous.

Scientists have hypothesized that these geese were probable not able to fly well. However, scientists feel it's unlikely that the bird was fragile or easy prey. Peter Murray informed us that it probable was a very fast runner, very similar to an ostrich. In addition, it might have been very aggressive. "You know, geese are fierce. If you come across them, it is better not to provoke them." Peter Murray said discerningly.

From Figure A readers can see a picture of the site where the fossils were unearthed. Figure B is a skeleton recovery drawing of the giant prehistoric goose drawn by scientists.

Figure A. Site where the fossils were unearthed

Figure B. Skeleton recovery drawing of the giant prehistoric goose

Geese are the fowl of modern people. However, these giant geese are surprisingly large. If these geese were the birds of prehistoric times then to maintain the same size proportion man would have had to been 5-6 meters tall. Perhaps these geese truly are the legendry birds of giants.

Furthermore, earlier this year, fossils of giant prehistoric kangaroos and lions were also discovered in Australia. They have never been seen before in any other area. Scientists believe that those giant prehistoric animals might have become extinct tens of thousands of years ago.

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