Giant Swan

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Common Name: Giant Swan
Scientific Name: Cygnus falconeri

Size: 75-84 inches (190-210 cm); Wingspan: 110 inches (300 cm)

Habitat: Europe; Malta, Sicily and the Mediterranean Islands.

Status: Extinct. Global population: none. It became extinct before the increase in human activity in the region, so its disappearance is thought to have resulted from extreme climate fluctuations or the arrival of superior predators and competitors.

Climate fluctuations are believed to have created land bridges to isolated islands that allowed predators in to closed eco-systems. Like the dwarf elephant and other Mediterranean island endemics, it likely became isolated when the Mediterranean re-flooded about 5.3 million years ago.

Diet: Omnivorous diet consisting of waterweeds and other aquatic vegetation.

Nesting: Sexes were alike.

Cool Facts: Due to its tremendous size, it is believed to have been a flightless or semi-flightless species.

Existing fossils of the swan comprised the greater part of the foot skeleton and the frontal part of the cranium. By comparison of the bones with those of living swans, it probably resembled a scaled-up Whooper Swan.

Found in Songbird Remix Waterfowl Volume 3: Swans of the World

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