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Vegavis

Vegavis iaai was an extinct bird which lived in the late Cretaceous, with the fossils being found in Antarctica. It was 30 cm (12 inches) long.

Discovered in 1992 on Vega Island in western Antartica, Vegavis is a relative of Presbyornis, a fossil waterfowl from the Paleocene and Eocene of North America and part of the anseriform group Anatidae, which includes modern ducks, geese, and swans. The significant discovery of Vegavis shows that waterfowl - properly called anseroforms - were defiantely alive during the Late Cretaceous. Furthermore, their closest relatives - the gallinaceous birds, or gamebirds - must have been present at this time as well, along with even earlier modern bird groups, such as the palaeognaths, which include ostriches.

Vegavis would have looked like a long-legged duck. Its skull is unknown, but like other anseriforms, it probably had a duck-like bill.

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