|phylum||Chordata||Gastornis is an extinct genus of large flightless bird that lived during the late Paleocene and Eocene epochs of the Cenozoic. It was named in 1855, after Gaston Planté, who had discovered the first fossils in Argile Plastique formation deposits at Meudon near Paris (France).
In the 1870s, the famous American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope discovered another, more complete set of fossils in North America, and named them Diatryma (/ˌdaɪ.əˈtraɪmə/ DY-ə-TRY-mə, from Ancient Greek διάτρημα, diatrema, meaning "canoe"). Gastornis parisiensis measured on average 1.75 metres (5.7 ft) tall, but large individuals grew up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) tall. Gastornis had a remarkably huge beak, although it lacked a prominent hook (as in terror birds), as well as large powerful legs and feet that lack raptor-like claws.
The plumage of Gastornis is unknown; it is generally depicted with a hair-like covering as in ratites, but this is conjectural. Some fibrous strands recovered from a Green River Formation deposit at Roan Creek, Colorado were initially believed to represent Gastornis feathers and named Diatryma filifera. Subsequent examination showed that they were actually not feathers at all but plant fibers or similar.
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|Temporal range||Late Paleocene|
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