Speed Reading — Giant Parrot - Level 2 — 100 wpm

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Scientists found fossilised bones from the biggest parrot that ever lived. It was a metre tall and weighed around eight kilograms. The fossils were in New Zealand. Researchers called the parrot Hercules. They studied the leg bones and said Hercules was twice the size of all other parrots. The largest parrot scientists know about is the kakapo. This is a flightless bird that also lives in New Zealand. The kakapo is very endangered.

New Zealand is famous for its birds. The kiwi is its national symbol. Kiwis could become endangered if their environment does not change. The 3.6-metre-tall moa also came from New Zealand. These flightless birds were the biggest birds that ever lived. They became extinct 600 years ago. Hercules lived 19 million years ago. It ate nuts, fruit and seeds, and other parrots. A researcher said: "There are many more unexpected species yet to be discovered."

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