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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 70Ma
Gargantuavis philoinos pelvis.JPG
The type specimen, a partial pelvis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Ornithothoraces
Clade: Euornithes
Genus: Gargantuavis
Buffetaut & Le Loeuff, 1998
Species: † G. philoinos
Binomial name
Gargantuavis philoinos
Buffetaut & Le Loeuff, 1998

Gargantuavis was a genus of prehistoric bird, possibly closely related to Patagopteryx, containing thus far a single species, Gargantuavis philoinos.[1] It lived during the Late Cretaceous in what is now southern France, in the Marnes Rouges Inferieures Formation dated to around 70 mya.[1] A large bird, Gargantuavis was flightless, occupying an ecological niche somewhat similar to that of modern ratites or certain non-avian dinosaurs.[1] It is possible that some of the fossil eggs found in the region, usually attributed to non-avialan dinosaurs, actually belong to this bird.[1]


Gargantuavis is known from three or possibly four bones: a synsacrum (the fused vertebrae above the hip), a partial illia (hip bone), and a partial femur (upper leg bone), which was referred to the species based on the fact that it seems to fit well with the hip. A second partial synsacrum similar to the type specimen had been described in 1995, and may also belong to Gargantuavis.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Buffetaut, E. & Le Loeuff, J. (1998). "A new giant ground Bird from the Upper Cretaceous of southern France." Journal of the Geological Society, 155: 1-4.
  2. ^ Buffetaut, E., Le Loeuff, J., Mechin, and Mechin-Salessy, (1995). "A large French Cretaceous bird." Nature, 377: 110.

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