Scientists have identified what they believe to be the largest bird to have ever lived.
According to a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Monday, a bird with a wingspan of about 21 feet soared through the skies some 25 million years ago. That’s double the size of a modern Royal Albatross and, according to the Associated Press, bigger than a giraffe’s head.
While the bird’s giant size led to some clumsiness on land, flight analysis estimates that the creature traveled up to 50 feet a second in the air.
“This was a pretty impressive creature,” Bruce Museum paleontologist Daniel T. Ksepka told the Wall Street Journal. “Science had made a rule about flight, and life found a way around it.”
The ancient bird’s sizable skeleton was discovered in 1983 near a Charleston, South Carolina airport.