Science Friday remembers the mysteriously vanished pelagornithids – birds that, we now know, once ruled the skies with toothy beaks and a wingspan twice the size of the modern albatross:
While alive, pelagornithids successfully took over the planet. Their remains have been found on every continent, and their existence stretched for more than 50 million years. New research, published in Scientific Reports late last year, reveals that by the time the pelagornithids had been around for 12 million years, they’d already evolved to gigantic sizes never seen since in birds. They had 6-meter wingspans, nearly twice the size of modern albatrosses.
Audio interview with researchers at the link; Scientific Reports article (on fossil findings in Antarctica) is here.