28 September 2021
Scientists have excavated the remains of an ancient eagle near a barren, dried-up lake in Southern Australia.
- This majestic bird is believed to be 25 million years old when the land of southern Australia was teemed with lush forests.
- For eagle, this part of the land was teemed with helpless prey.
- It was found near Australia’s Lake Pinpa, which is now-deserted.
- Discovery includes a whopping 63 well-kept fossils which also comprises the entirety of the eagle’s skeleton.
Fossil of Koala-hunting eagle
- Koala-hunting eagle was slightly smaller and leaner than the wedge-tailed eagle.
- However, its the largest eagle known in Australia, found about 25 million years ago.
- They are known as wedge-tail, or wedgies in Australia. They had a broad-winged bird of prey, similar to size of bald eagle of America.
Significance of the study
- It is rare to find even one bone from a fossil eagle. Thus, finding most of the skeleton becomes significant.
- These plentiful fossils are a rare find and they belong to one the of the oldest & mightiest eaglelike raptors across the world.
- Eagles stand at the apex of the food chain, with preying on squirrels, prairie dogs and rabbits.
- They use sky as their safe haven and are always fewer in number. As a result, they are infrequently preserved as fossils.
- They are scientifically known as Aquila audax and are the largest bird of prey in Australia.
- They are also found in southern New Guinea. They have a long, fairly broad wings and fully feathered legs.
- They are one among 12 species of large, dark-coloured booted eagles in the genus Aquila.
- prey have a wingspan of up to 2.84 m and length of up to 1.06 m.