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Why Pelagornithids is in the news?

Recently, the scientists have identified the fossil of a giant bird called Pelagornithids from Antarctica.

About Pelagornithids

Scientists have identified the fossil of a giant bird that was found on Earth about 50 million years ago.


  • According to scientists, this bird named Pelagornithids had a wingspan of about 21 feet, whereas the largest bird of the present-day Wandering Albatross has a wingspan of only 11 and 11.5.
  • These fossils, obtained in the 1980s from Antarctica, represent the oldest and most extinct group of birds that roam over the southern oceans.
  • Pelagornithids were found in the same ecological niches as the bird albatross.
  • The oldest and extremely small fossil of Pelagornithids is 62 million years old while one of its new fossils (50 million years old part of the bird’s feet) shows that the massive extirpation of the giant Pelagornithids birds occurred 65 million years ago (at the same time Dinosaurs became extinct).
  • According to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, the second fossil of pelagornithids that is part of the jawbone is about 40 million years old.
  • The last known pelagornithids existed until about 2.5 million years ago.

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