Facts about Gastornis, an extinct prehistoric animal

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Gastornis

Gastornis



Gastornis
Click here for more Gastornis Pictures

Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Aves
  Subclass Neornithes
  Infraclass Neognathae
  Superorder Galloanserae
  Order Gastornithiformes
  Family Gastornithidae
  Genus Gastornis
Gastornis (often known as "Diatryma") is a genus of large flightless birds that lived from the late Paleocene epoch to the middle Eocene epoch, between about 56 million and 45 million years ago. Fossils os these birds have been found in a number of countries in Europe, (including Belgium, England, France, and Germany) as well as in the United States.

Gastornis was upto about 6½ feet (2 meters) tall, and had a huge beak with a hooked top, and powerful legs. It is not certain what type of feathers it had, but it is thought that it may have had hair-like feathers similar to modern ratites.

There has been much debate about Gastornis' diet. Its beak seems to suggest it was a predator - if this was the case it probably hunted in packs or was an ambush hunter, since it may not have been particularly agile, particularly since the areas in which it lived were covered with dense forests. Alternatively, it is also possible that Gastornis may have been a scavenger, omnivore, or even a herbivore (plant-eater).

The first fossils of the genus were found near Paris, France by Gaston Planté in 1855 (Planté later became famous for his achievements in physics, including inventing the lead-acid battery), who named the bird "Gastornis" (Gaston's bird). In the 1870s, Edward D. Cope found another set of fossils in the United States, and named the animal "Diatryma". When it was subsequently realized that these were both specimens of the same animal, the first name chosen takes priority, and hence the correct name of the animal is in fact Gastornis.

Gastornis Timeline:



Gastornis was a large flightless bird that lived between 56 and 45 million years ago

Gastornis was a large flightless bird that lived between 56 and 45 million years ago


Related Information & Resources


See Also

Gastornis Books


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Ancient Animals: Terror Bird
By Sarah L. Thomson

Brand: Charlesbridge Pub Inc
Released: August 1st, 2013
Paperback (32 pages)

Ancient Animals: Terror Bird
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Description:
Ancient Animals: Terror Bird
  • Manufacturer: Charlesbridge
  • Brand: Brand: Charlesbridge Pub Inc
  • ISBNs: 1580893996, 9781580893992
  • EAN: 9781580893992
  • PartNumber: Full Colour Illustrations
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 32
  • Author: Sarah L. Thomson
  • Publication Date: August 1st, 2013
  • Release Date: August 1st, 2013
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  • Weight: 0.20282528104 Pounds
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Gastornis (Prehistoric Beasts)
By Marc Zabludoff

Brand: Benchmark Books
Released: September 1st, 2009
Library Binding (32 pages)

Gastornis (Prehistoric Beasts)
Lowest New Price: $30.93*
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Description:
Gastornis (Prehistoric Beasts)
  • Manufacturer: Benchmark Books
  • Brand: Brand: Benchmark Books
  • ISBN: 0761440003
  • EAN: 9780761440000
Details:
  • Product Category: Library Binding
  • Number of Pages: 32
  • Author: Marc Zabludoff
  • Publication Date: September 1st, 2009
  • Release Date: September 1st, 2009
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.25 Inches by 9.25 Inches by 0.5 Inches
  • Weight: 0.7 Pounds
Features:
  • Used Book in Good Condition
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Gastornis. Der verkannte Terrorvogel (German Edition)
By Ernst Probst

GRIN Publishing
Released: November 12th, 2013
Paperback (96 pages)

Gastornis. Der verkannte Terrorvogel (German Edition)
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Description:
Gastornis. Der verkannte Terrorvogel (German Edition)
  • Manufacturer: GRIN Publishing
  • ISBN: 3656528268
  • EAN: 9783656528265
  • PartNumber: 9783656528265
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 96
  • Author: Ernst Probst
  • Publication Date: November 12th, 2013
  • Release Date: November 12th, 2013
Physical Description:
  • Size: 8.2677 Inches by 5.82676 Inches by 0.2299208 Inches
  • Weight: 0.29982867632 Pounds
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Vogelriesen in der Urzeit: Rekorde gefiederter Giganten (German Edition)
By Ernst Probst

GRIN Verlag
Kindle Edition (300 pages)

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Vogelriesen in der Urzeit: Rekorde gefiederter Giganten (German Edition)
  • Manufacturer: GRIN Verlag
Details:
  • Kindle Edition
  • Format: Kindle eBook
  • Edition: 1
  • Number of Pages: 300
  • Author: Ernst Probst
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Gastornis (Dinosaurs)
By Grace Hansen

Abdo Kids Jumbo
Released: December 15th, 2020
Library Binding (24 pages)
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Gastornis (Dinosaurs)
  • Manufacturer: Abdo Kids Jumbo
  • ISBN: 1098202430
  • EAN: 9781098202439
Details:
  • Product Category: Library Binding
  • Number of Pages: 24
  • Author: Grace Hansen
  • Publication Date: December 15th, 2020
  • Release Date: December 15th, 2020
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