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Rare ‘thunder bird’ fossil gives researchers clue to demise of Australian species of megafauna

At 230kg genyornis newtoni weighed around five or six times as much as an emu and stood about two metres tall

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Flinders University researchers may have discovered what ultimately led to the extinction of the last of Australia’s massive thunder birds, genyornis newtoni.

The clue came with the discovery of a rare fossil. The find, by researchers at Flinders University, unveiled severe bone infections in several dromornithid remains mired in the 160 sq km beds of Lake Callabonna fossil reserve, 600km northeast of Adelaide.

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