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phylum Chordata Gastornis is an extinct genus of large flightless bird that lived during the late Paleocene and Eocene epochs of the Cenozoic. It was named in 1855, after Gaston Planté, who had discovered the first fossils in Argile Plastique formation deposits at Meudon near Paris (France).

In the 1870s, the famous American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope discovered another, more complete set of fossils in North America, and named them Diatryma.

Gastornis parisiensis measured on average 1.75 metres (5.7 ft) tall, but large individuals grew up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) tall. Gastornis had a remarkably huge beak, although it lacked a prominent hook (as in terror birds), as well as large powerful legs and feet that lack raptor-like claws.

For more information, visit the Wikipedia entry.

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clade Diapsida
Class Aves
order Anseriformes
family Gastornithidae
genus Gastornis
Temporal range Late Paleocene
to Middle Eocene