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Giant Parrot The Size Of A Child, Nicknamed 'Hercules', Found In New Zealand

A one-metre tall parrot called Heracles Inexpectatus has been discovered by Australian palaeontologists across the ditch.

The world's largest parrot was found in fossils about 19 million years old near St Bathans, south of Christchurch, in New Zealand.

Researchers estimate the bird they've named Heracles inexpectatus -- nicknamed Hercules by some -- would have been about one metre tall and weighed seven kilograms.

Flinders University Associate Professor Trevor Worthy says Heracles was found in an area well known for its giant birds.

A reconstruction of the giant parrot Heracles, dwarfing eight-centimetre high Kuiornis, small New Zealand wrens scuttling about on the forest floor. Photo: Dr Brian Choo/Flinders University

"Not only moa dominated avifaunas but giant geese and adzebills shared the forest floor, while a giant eagle ruled the skies," he said on Wednesday.

"But until now, no-one has ever found an extinct giant parrot - anywhere."

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Palaeontologists from Flinders University, the University of New South Wales and Canterbury Museum in New Zealand have been excavating in the area for 20 years and continue to unearth new birds and animals.

"While Heracles is one of the most spectacular birds we have found, no doubt there are many more unexpected species yet to be discovered in this most interesting deposit," Prof Worthy said.