"Demon ducks of doom" laid melon-sized eggs in prehistoric Australia

“Demon ducks of doom” laid melon-sized eggs in prehistoric Australia

Researchers have finally cracked a 41-year-old mystery about an old eggshell from a large, extinct land bird with a demonic nickname.

In 1981, researchers in Australia discovered the charred remains of many eggs from several cooking fires used by prehistoric humans, dating to about 50,000 years ago. Some of the eggs were identified as eggs from emus. But some oversized specimens belonged to a second, unknown bird. For years, researchers argued about the identity of the big bird. But given the size and age of the eggs, two challengers arose over time: Proguraa group of large turkey-like birds, or Genyornissometimes called “demon ducks of doom” because of their enormous size and evolutionary relationship to the smaller seabirds.

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