Newly described remains of a toothed bird with a 6.4m wingspan is probably the largest flying bird ever. Originally unearthed in 1983 during construction of the Charleston International Airport, Pelagornis sandersi appears to have landed a little early!The bird was twice the size of the modern Royal Albatross and is above what was previously considered the largest size for a flying bird. Using computer models has shown that the extinct animal would have been an efficient glider, but struggled with take off.What interests me about this, is that the bird lived 25-28 million years ago. This is within a time interval of significant ocean current changes and increasing plankton biodiversity; a more productive marine realm appears to have supported larger animals higher up the food chain.
Scientists have identified the fossilized remains of an extinct giant bird that could be the biggest flying bird ever found. With an estimated 20- to 24-foot wingspan, the creature surpassed the previous record holder -- an extinct bird named Argentavis magnificens -- and was twice as big as the royal albatross, the largest flying bird today. Computer simulations show that the bird's long slender wings helped it stay aloft despite its enormous size.