The world’s deadliest bird was raised by people 18,000 years ago

The world’s deadliest bird was raised by people 18,000 years ago

The southern cassowary is often called the world’s most dangerous bird. While shy and secretive in the forests of its native New Guinea and Northern Australia, it can be aggressive in captivity. In 2019, kicks from a captive cassowary mortally wounded a Florida man. They don’t take kindly to attempts to hunt them, either: In 1926, a cassowary attacked by an Australian teenager kicked him in the neck with its 4-inch, velociraptorlike talons, slitting his throat. Not a bird it’s advisable to spend too much time in close quarters with, in other words. But as early as 18,000 years ago, people in New Guinea may have reared cassowary chicks to near-adulthood — potentially the earliest known example of humans managing avian breeding. “This is thousands of years before domestication of the chicken,” said Kristina Douglass, an archaeologist at
The southern cassowary is often called the world’s most dangerous bird. While shy and secretive in the forests of its native New Guinea and Northern Australia, it can be aggressive in captivity. In 2019, kicks from a captive cassowary mortally wounded a Florida man. They don’t take kindly to attempts to hunt them, either: In 1926, a cassowary attacked by an Australian teenager kicked him in the neck with its 4-inch, velociraptorlike talons, slitting his throat. Not a bird it’s advisable to spend too much time in close quarters with, in other words. But as early as 18,000 years ago, people in New Guinea may have reared cassowary chicks to near-adulthood — potentially the earliest known example of humans managing avian breeding. “This is thousands of years before domestication of the chicken,” said Kristina Douglass, an archaeologist at