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Temporal range: Middle Miocene
Skull of Bullockornis planei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Dromornithidae
Genus: Bullockornis
P. Rich, 1979
Species: B. planei
Binomial name
Bullockornis planei
P. Rich, 1979

Bullockornis planei, nicknamed the Demon-Duck of Doom or Thunderbird, is an extinct flightless bird that lived in the Middle Miocene, approximately 15 million years ago, in what is now Australia.[1]

Bullockornis stood approximately 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in) tall. It may have weighed up to 250 kg (550 lb). Features of Bullockornis's skull, including a very large beak suited to shearing, indicate that the bird may have been carnivorous. The bird's skull is larger than that of many small horses.[2]

Many paleontologists, including Peter Murray of the Central Australian Museum, believe that Bullockornis was related to geese and ducks.[citation needed] This, in addition to the bird's tremendous size and possible carnivorous habits, gave rise to its colourful nickname. The bird's generic name is improperly translated as "ox-bird",[2] and was named instead for the type locality for the genus at Bullock Creek, Australia.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Rich, P. (1979)
  2. ^ a b Ellis, R. (2004)


  • Ellis, R. (2004) No Turning Back: The Life and Death of Animal Species. New York: Harper Perennial. p. 102. ISBN 0-06-055804-0.
  • Rich, P. (1979) The Dromornithidae, an extinct family of large ground birds endemic to Australia. Bureau of National Resources, Geology and Geophysics Bulletin 184: 1–196.

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