Over millions of years, Australia's unique biodiversity has produced a large cabinet of curiosities. Among the weirder members of this group were the Mihirungs, members of the w extinct family Dromornithidae. Made up of several genera of flightless birds-among them one of the very largest birds that ever lived-the dromornithids ranged from 60-kilogram beasts, 1.5 meters tall, to giants twice that size, weighing nearly half a metric ton. They were, by orders of magnitude, the largest geese that ever lived. One species was comparable in size to the Ele-phantbird of Madagascar and the Giant Moa of New Zealand. This book is the first major study of this unique and highly diverse group. It aims to present as complete a synthesis as possible of current information about this fascinating family of birds.
Peter F. Murray is a researcher at the Museum of Central Australia in Alice Springs. Patricia Vickers-Rich holds a Chair in Palaeontology at Monash University, where she lectures in the Earth Sciences Department. She is co-author (with Thomas H. Rich) of Wildlife of Gondwana: Dinosaurs and Other Vertebrates from the Ancient Supercontinent (IUP, 2000) and Dinosaurs of Darkness (IUP, 2000).