"The bird was probably too big to take off simply by flapping its wings and launching itself into the air from a standstill, the researchers said."
Washington, July 8 - A team of US researchers say they have found fossilised remains of what could be the biggest flying bird.
With a wingspan of 20 to 24 feet, Pelagornis sandersi surpassed size estimates of the previous record holder, an extinct bird named Argentavis magnificens which was twice as big as the Royal Albatross, the largest flying bird today, Xinhua reported.
The birds were like creatures out of a fantasy novel, there is simply nothing like them around today, a researcher said.
The researchers believed that the bird lived 25 to 28 million years ago.
According to the researchers, the bird had paper-thin hollow bones, stumpy legs and giant wings.
The bird was probably too big to take off simply by flapping its wings and launching itself into the air from a standstill, the researchers said.
Like Argentavis, the previous record holder, Pelagornis sandersi may have gotten off the ground by running downhill into a headwind or taking advantage of air gusts to get aloft, much like a hang glider, they said.