- A giant eagle fossil was recently found in Australia
- Claws 30 cm long, wingspan about 3 meters
- Lord of the Rings fans are starting to dream about Joyehir
Bones of an extinct bird species, of the giant accipitridae family, Dynatoaetus gaffae, have been identified from fossils discovered in South Australia. According to the researchers, this subspecies of eagle would have lived during the Pleistocene, the first geological era of the Quaternary Era that extends from 2.58 million years ago to 11,700 years before the present. Simply put, it would be a giant eagle… like in The Lord of the Rings (or almost).
Wingspan of 3 meters for this Dynatoaetus gaffae
The fossils analyzed by the researchers, which include wings, legs, claws, sternum and skull, revealed that the bird likely had claws about 30 centimeters long and a wingspan of about 3 meters. To fly over the Australian skies.
“Dynatoaetus gaffae, or Cryptogyps, are new genera of birds of prey unique to Australia, similar to vulture and vulture respectively, that existed until about 50,000 years ago.said Dr. Ellen Mather, a paleontologist at Flinders University. Thus the claws of the recently discovered giant eagle would be able to hold a koala, a kangaroo…or a hobbit.
In fact, fans of the Lord of the Rings saga know that the mighty eagles did exist…in JRR Tolkien’s mind at least. In the books (and movies), these giant winged creatures play a major role in Middle-earth, notably engaging in the Battle of the Five Armies.
Furthermore, in The Lord of the Rings, the giant eagle Gwaihir is the one who carries the wizard Gandalf three times: from the summit of Orthanc to Rohan, from the summit of Zirakzigil in Lothlórien after the duel against the Balrog, and a round trip from the Cormallen Fields to Mount Doom to save Frodo and Sam. Obviously, here we are talking about vultures of a completely different class, which have a wingspan of about 23 meters. All the same!
Two years ago, still in Australia, a fearsome 25-million-year-old eagle skeleton was discovered. a new species that was then christened Archaehierax sylvestris, for “Old Forest HawkThe latter had “only” 15 cm long greenhouses, but not enough to prevent him from taking over Benba Lake.