The largest flying bird known to ever have lived has now been revealed, an extinct giant with a wingspan more than twice the size of the largest living flying bird, researchers say.
These findings exceed some predictions for the largest size possible for flying birds, scientists added.
The new species, Pelagornis sandersi, had an estimated wingspan of 20 to 24 feet (6.1 to 7.3 meters) when its feathers are included. This is up to more than twice as big as that of the royal albatross, the largest living flying bird, which has a wingspan of about 11.4 feet (3.5 meters).
Pelagornithids lived all over the globe for tens of millions of years, but vanished just 3 million years ago, and paleontologists remain uncertain as to why.
"Pelagornithids were once found on every continent, including Antarctica," Ksepka said. "Pelagornithids were like creatures out of a fantasy novel — there is simply nothing like them around today."
See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.
Another amazing discovery! Could this bird be related to the giant fandors that we learn about in The Urantia Book?
66:5.6 It was in these days that carrier pigeons were first used, being taken on long journeys for the purpose of sending messages or calls for help. Bon's group were successful in training the great fandors as passenger birds, but they became extinct more than thirty thousand years ago.
74:3.4 The third day was devoted to an inspection of the Garden. From the large passenger birds—the fandors—Adam and Eve looked down upon the vast stretches of the Garden while being carried through the air over this, the most beautiful spot on earth. This day of inspection ended with an enormous banquet in honor of all who had labored to create this garden of Edenic beauty and grandeur. And again, late into the night of their third day, the Son and his mate walked in the Garden and talked about the immensity of their problems.
Here's more from the article cited above:
"Pelagornis sandersi could have traveled for extreme distances while crossing ocean waters in search of prey," Ksepka said in a statement. "That's important in the ocean, where food is patchy."
By riding on air currents that rise up from the ocean's surface, P. sandersi was able to soar over the ocean without flapping its wings. Once P. sandersi reached adulthood, it may have been able "to live flying over the ocean for most of the year, coming back to land only to nest, flying for thousands of kilometers over the course of the year," Ksepka said. "It probably landed on islands or remote areas where they could avoid predators when they nested."
And, from The Urantia Book:
52:1.5 The early races also make extensive use of the larger flying animals. These enormous birds are able to carry one or two average-sized men for a nonstop flight of over five hundred miles. On some planets these birds are of great service since they possess a high order of intelligence, often being able to speak many words of the languages of the realm. These birds are most intelligent, very obedient, and unbelievably affectionate. Such passenger birds have been long extinct on Urantia, but your early ancestors enjoyed their services.
61:1.9 45,000,000 years ago ...A large ostrichlike land bird developed to a height of ten feet and laid an egg nine by thirteen inches. These were the ancestors of the later gigantic passenger birds that were so highly intelligent, and that onetime transported human beings through the air.
It may seem like science-fiction to think about such marvelous creatures, but we have these informative passages from revelation of The Urantia Book, and now science has unearthed concrete evidence that such birds were indeed, real. The history of Urantia in Part III of The Urantia Book is full of more amazing facts about the animals, birds, fishes and mammals that have evolved over eons of time on this planet we call home. You have to read it to believe it!!!