Giant bird 'lived after Man arrived'

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The Independent Online

The belief that Man's arrival in Australia 50,000 years ago brought about the extinction of most of the continent's giant animals has been challenged by the discovery of an Aboriginal engraving of bird footprints.

The belief that Man's arrival in Australia 50,000 years ago brought about the extinction of most of the continent's giant animals has been challenged by the discovery of an Aboriginal engraving of bird footprints.

The engraving found in the Keep river area of the Northern Territory is believed to depict the tracks of Genyornis newtoni, an enormous flightless bird thought to have died out more than 25,000 years ago. The painting is probably only a few thousand years old.

Dr Paul Tacon of the Australian Museum, who led the expedition, said: "It had been thought that the genyornis died out soon after the arrival of the first people in Australia some 50,000 years ago. But the engraving would have been made several thousand years ago, which suggests that the genyornis survived for longer than we originally believed."

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