Meet the giant parrots that lived 19 mn years ago

  1. Researchers have discovered fossils of an extinct parrot species in near St. Bathans in southern New Zealand. The area has been a rich source of fossils from the Miocene period which extends from about five million to 23 million years ago
  2. According to researchers it is the heaviest known parrot to have ever lived. It lived 19 million years ago. The parrot has been named Heracles inexpectatus
  3. The birds were flightless. They were up to 1 m tall and weighed up to 7kgs.
  4. Heracles belongs to a group of ancient parrots native to New Zealand, which includes the kakapo.
  5. Kakapo is a critically endangered flightless bird which still exists in New Zealand. It is the heaviest parrot alive today