dromornis

The thunder bird, Dromornis (1872)

Phylum : Chordata
Class : Aves
Order : Anseriformes
Family : Dromornithidae
Genus : Dromornis
Species : D. australis, D. stirtoni

  • Late Miocene/early Pliocene (15 - 3 Ma)
  • 3 m tall and 500 kg (size)
  • Queensland, Australia (map)

It inhabited subtropical open woodlands in Australia during the Late Miocene and may have been carnivorous. There were forests and a permanent water supply at Alcoota, one location where the Dromornis birds lived, although the climate was very unpredictable. Dromornis lived in Australia from the late Miocene to the early Pliocene, meaning that early humans never encountered this genus. Dromornis had a huge beak and jaw capable of great force.

It inhabited subtropical open woodlands in Australia during the Late Miocene and may have been carnivorous. There were forests and a permanent water supply at Alcoota, one location where the Dromornis birds lived, although the climate was very unpredictable. Dromornis lived in Australia from the late Miocene to the early Pliocene, meaning that early humans never encountered this genus. Dromornis had a huge beak and jaw capable of great force.

Dromornis illustration by Peter Trusler