Dromornis planei

Dromornis planei was a large flightless dromornithid bird that is only known from the middle Miocene of Bullock Creek in the Northern Territory of Australia. This species was heavily built, standing up to 2.5 metres tall and weighing up to 300 kilograms. Its head was about the same size as that of a horse. Many of the fossils at Bullock Creek have bite marks that match well with the shape of crocodile teeth indicating that these birds were preyed on by Baru, an extinct crocodilian.

The specimen below is a brain endocast, a digital cast of the hollow space within the cranium where the brain is located.


Specimen number: NTM P9464106
Significance of specimen: 
Geological age: Miocene
State/territory: Northern Territory
Locality/site: Bullock Creek

Skull of Dromornis planei
By Gord Webster from Victoria, Canada - The Demon Duck Of Doom. Uploaded by FunkMonk, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18383983

These data first appeared in: Handley WD, and Worthy TH. 2021. Endocranial Anatomy of the Giant Extinct Australian Mihirung Birds (Aves, Dromornithidae). Diversity 13:124.

Handley, W. D., & Worthy, T. H. (2021). Endocranial anatomy of the giant extinct Australian Mihirung birds (Aves, Dromornithidae). Diversity13(3), 124.

Vickers-Rich, P. (1979). The Dromornithidae: An extinct family of large ground birds endemic to Australia (Vol. 184). Australian Government Publishing Service.