Garganornis ballmanni, a giant anseriform

Garganornis ballmanni was a peculiar anseriform belonging to Anatidae, the clade that includes ducks, swans, and geese. With an estimated weight of about 15 to 22 kg (33 to 50 lbs), it is the largest member of the anatid evolutionary lineage known to date.

It was first described in 2014 by Hanneke J. M. Meijer.

G. ballmanni lived some 9 to 5.5 million years ago in what is now the province of Foggia, southeast Italy.

Its anatomy suggests that it was a flightless bird. And the morphology of its forelimbs are indicative of a fighting behavior.

Featured image © Stefano Maugeri.

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