WHAT IS THE WORLD'S HEAVIEST FLYING BIRD?


We should all now be familiar with the concept that birds are the only living relatives of an advanced subgroup of theropod dinosaurs and now classified within the clade Dinosauria. And of course when we think of flying dinosaurs we think of the Pterosaurs which incidentally were not from the clade Dinosauria but were instead a group of flying reptiles from within the clade Pterosaur.

Kori bustard - http://www.deviantart.com/
Be that as it may, Pterosaurs spanned a wide range of sizes, from the very small Nemicolopterus to the largest known flying creatures of all time such as the Quetzalcoatlus and Hatzegopteryx. Scientists estimated that the largest Quetzalcoatlus fossils came from an individual with a wingspan as large as 10–11 meters and an estimated weight of around 200–250 kilograms.

So if this is a benchmark for the largest size possible for a creature to be and still be able to fly, what is currently the world's largest flying animal?

There are several contenders for the title In no particular order, the first is the Kori bustard a native to Africa. The male Kori bustard is significantly larger than the female and typically weigh between 7 and 21 kg.

Great bustard - http://www.pbase.com/richard2051/
The second contender is the closely related Great bustard whose range extends across southern and central Europe, and across temperate Asia. As with the Kori bustard the males are significantly larger than the female and can reach up to 21 kg in weight. Heavier specimens have been reported but as yet have remain unverified.

The third is the Mute swan, a majestic specimen also native to much of Europe and Asia. Surprisingly it comes in second in size to the trumpeter swan, although male mute swans easily exceed male trumpeter swans in mass. The the top normal weight for a mute swan is roughly 15 kg, however one unusually large specimen from Poland weighed almost 23 kg and is regarded as the largest weight ever verified for a flying bird. Be that as it may, is is in question whether this particular heavyweight is still capable of taking flight.

For related articles click onto the following links:
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DOG IN THE WORLD?
WHAT IS THE WORLD'S HEAVIEST FLYING BIRD?
WHAT IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST REPTILE?
THE WORLD'S TALLEST MAN

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