Argentavis magnificens is the largest bird ever known to have lived. The creature existed during the Miocene period about 6 million years ago. Bones and other finds from the bird proving its actual existence were discovered by paleontologists in Argentina in the 1960s. The wing span of Argentavis magnifecens was 23-foot and the bird itself resembled a Cessna 152 light aircraft in size. Even though the bird had well-developed muscles it was still impossible for the creature to lift from the ground according to physics laws.
With the help of Jack Templin, a retired aeronautical engineer, Dr. Kenneth Campbell succeeded in proving how the giant bird managed to leave the ground. Through a flight simulation software the scientists discovered that Argentavis magnificens soared in the air by using the thermals in the foothills of the mountains. The updrafts consisting of heated air are able to provide lift which the bird would use by circling upwards on a thermal and then soaring from one updraft to another. A full sized replica of the giant bird could be seen in the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.