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Australia’s living dinosaur is endangered, and they want to protect it more

Australia’s living dinosaur is endangered, and they want to protect it more

In the future, the Australian government wants to provide greater protection for the country’s rarest and most exotic bird species, the helmeted cassowary.

Large sauropods that have been around for millions of years and thus referred to as “living dinosaurs” now live only in the federal state of Queensland in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Australia’s ABC Television reported on Wednesday that the species is threatened not only by the narrowing of its habitat, but also by vehicle traffic and dog attacks.

Spinner helmetSource: Wikimedia Commons

Among the plans drawn up by the Australian government together with animal protection organizations is that by 2031, the areas that currently provide protection for helmeted cassowaries will be significantly expanded, and for this purpose the state will buy plots of land. In addition, they will launch an information campaign among dog owners to draw attention to the danger that their four-legged friends pose to these birds, and in the future they will put up more visible signs to warn motorists to watch out for flying kangaroos that may appear in the area.

According to experts, more than 5,000 helmeted cassowaries can still live in Australia, and data is currently being collected to find out the exact population size.
The bird, also known as the southern cassowary, can weigh up to 70 kilograms. Her blue-red neck, helmet-like horn growth on her head and shiny black feathers give her a formidable appearance. It cannot fly, but thanks to its powerful thighs, it can run at speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour.

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According to the researchers, helmeted cassowaries also play an important role in maintaining the diversity of species living in the rainforest by being one of the few fruit-eating animals that can carry larger fruits over long distances.

Helmeted cassowaries evolved around 60 million years ago, and some of their characteristics are similar to those of dinosaurs, such as three legs with dagger-like claws and a respiratory system, according to a study by the Queensland Department of Environment.

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