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Master Orthodox Occultist Oregon Chang, The 17th generation Disciple of Seven Stars Sword Master Hebei China

Monday, December 13, 2010

Giant stork once roamed Indonesian island

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Fossils of a giant stork have been discovered on a far-flung Indonesian island that has been home to many extreme-sized creatures — from tiny human-like "hobbits" and dwarf elephants to the world's largest-known rats and lizards.

Authors Hanneke Meijer and Rokus Due wrote in the December issue of the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society that leg bones from the marabou stork, which lived 20,000 to 50,000 years ago, indicate it stood around 6 feet (180 centimeters) tall and weighed up to 35 pounds (16 kilograms).

It appears to have been primarily land-based, they wrote.

The bones were found during excavations of the Liang Bua cave in the west of the island of Flores at a depth of around 15 feet (4.7 meters).

Flores, located on Indonesia's eastern edge, has never been connected to another island or mainland, shaping evolution of historic wildlife, with many small-sized warm blooded animals growing larger than elsewhere on the planet, and big-sized mammals becoming more diminutive, said Colin Groves, a professor at Australian National University who was not related to the study, citing the so-called "island rule" in biology.

With no mammalian carnivores, birds and reptiles faced less competition for food, accounting for some of their massive size.

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