HOW TO GROW GUNNERA MANICATA

Image credit - http://www.plantpoints.com/

Gunnera manicata, otherwise known as the 'Giant Ornamental Rhubarb' is not only a popular architectural plant, it is also the largest leaved garden plant that can so far be grown in the cooler temperate climates of Great Britain. Native to the Serra do Mar mountains of southeastern Brazil it is a clump-forming herbaceous perennial which under favourable conditions can grow up to 2.5 m tall by 4 m wide. The leaves are truly enormous attaining a typical size of 1.5–2 m wide, up to 3.4 m long and borne on robust prickly stems.

Plant Gunnera manicata during April or May so that your specimen has time to establish its root system before the heat of summer. Once planted avoid disturbing the roots. They will require a permanently moist, humus-rich soil during the growing period but will prefer dry soils over the winter.

It will be happy in either full sun or semi-shade but in soils prone to drying out over the summer will need to be watered to prevent the leaves and stalks from wilting. Extended periods of drought can cause areas of the leaves becoming scorched. This can result in large patches of dead tissue appearing on the leaf.

Provide shelter from cold drying winds to prevent the leaves becoming torn. It is also worth protecting the crows by covering them with their own leaves weighted down with soil. Once the threat of late frosts have passed in the spring, draw the old leaves and soil away from the crown and pack it down around the base of the plant to act as a spring mulch.

For related articles click onto the following links:
COLD HARDY PLANTS WITH GIANT LEAVES
HOW TO GROW COLOCASIA
HOW TO GROW GUNNERA MANICATA
HOW TO GROW WATER LILIES
HOW TO PROPAGATE GUNNERA MANICATA
TETRAPANAX Papyrifer Rex
THE GIANT HORSETAIL - Equisetum giganteum
WHAT IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST LEAF?

WHAT IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST LEAF?

Gunnera leaf - credit M. Stephen Griffith, Curator of Abbotsbury

If you live in the temperate regions of northern Europe then you can be forgiven for thinking that the world's largest leaf is produced by the magnificent giant ornamental rhubarb - Gunnera manicata. In its native habitat of the the Serra do Mar mountains of southeastern Brazil, the leaves can grow up to 2 metres wide and 3.4 metres long on 2 metres high stalks. As impressive as it may be, it is really the world's largest leaf? Well that all depends on how you measure it!

Raphia regalis - https://zonepost.files.wordpress.com/
If by largest you mean longest, then the world's largest leaf is the record breaking Raphia regalis whose huge leaves that can reach a record breaking 25.11 metres long by 3 metres wide. However this is not a solid leaf as they are divided and are made up of around 180 separate leaflets.

Where undivided leaves are concerned, the leaves of the Amazonian palm - Manicaria saccifera, have been measured at almost 8 metres long. However, the leaf is typically divided shallowly at the tip and so is arguable not truly entire. There are also two additional palm species contending for the world's longest undivided leaf: The first is the Big-leaf palm - Marojejya darianii, a palm native to Madagascar with a leaf up to 5 meters long that is divided just the once at the tip. The second is the Joey palm - Johannesteijsmannia altifrons, a palm native to Thailand with a leaf up to 4 meters long and is entirely undivided.

Victoria amazonica - http://www.victoria-adventure.org/
World class naturalist David Attenborough has documented that the giant arum of Borneo develops the biggest undivided leaf of all with a surface area of 34 square feet. Unfortunately accurate dimensions for the Joey palm leaf are as yet unavailable and so it is difficult to calculate its surface area to make a comparison.

Ignoring terrestrial plants for a moment, let's not forget the floating leaves of the giant Amazonian waterlily - Victoria amazonica, which have a documented diameter of up to 8 ft. This equates to a surface area of 50 square feet making it 47% larger than the leaf reported by David Attenborough.

So, which is the world's largest leaf? Well, take your pick because the jury is still out. For me it is still the Gunnera manicata, but that is just because it is the only one I can grow in the garden.

For related articles click onto the following links:
COLD HARDY PLANTS WITH GIANT LEAVES
HOW TO GROW COLOCASIA
HOW TO GROW GUNNERA MANICATA
HOW TO GROW PALM TREES FROM SEED
HOW TO PROPAGATE GUNNERA MANICATA
RAFFLESIA ARNOLDII
TETRAPANAX Papyrifer Rex
THE GIANT AMAZON WATER LILY
WHAT IS A BULB?
WHAT IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST LEAF?
THE WORLD'S TALLEST MAN

WHAT IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST FROG?


Frogs are an ancient, diverse and largely carnivorous group of amphibians whose origins date back to approximately 265 million years ago. They are widely distributed, ranging from the tropics to the subarctic regions, although the greatest concentration of frog species is found in the world's tropical rainforests.

African bullfrog - http://i.ytimg.com/
In the United Kingdom the largest frog (and arguably the only true native species as the pool frog is believed by many to be an introduced species from Europe) is the common frog - Rana temporaria.It has a body length of 6 to 9 centimetres and an average weight of 22.7 grams.

However in the United Kingdom it is sometimes possible to come face to face with an African bullfrog - Pyxicephalus adspersus, a common pet which is often illegally released into the wild. Male African bullfrogs easily put our native frogs quite literally in the shade by exceeding weights of 2kg and with a body length of up to 23 cm.

However when it comes to being the world's largest frog the African bull frog is nothing more than small potatoes. The holder of that particular title is the magnificent Goliath frog - Conraua goliath.

The goliath frog

Goliath frog - https://cdn1.lockerdome.com/
Native to the relatively small habitat range of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, the goliath frog is the king of its genus with a weight of up to 3.25 kg and a body length of up to an impressive 32 cm. It can live up to 15 years in the wild, although in captivity, they can live up to 21 years.

Unfortunately the goliath frog is currently classified as an endangered species. On top of being preyed upon by snakes, Nile crocodiles, and Nile monitor lizards it is also considered to be a source of food in some parts of west Africa. Furthermore they are taken from the wild in large number for collectors, zoos and animal dealers to be sold as pets. Once in captivity they are not known to breed.

The largest frog ever to have lived!

The world's largest frog
If you are looking for the largest frog to have ever lived then you will need to travel back in time to approximately 70 million years ago. Commonly known as 'Beelzebufo' or 'Devil frog' it was a rather intimidating creature approximately the size of a beach ball. Considerably larger than today's goliath frog, the fossil record predicts a mind-boggling length of 41 centimeters and a weight of approximately 4.5 kilograms.

Research on the fossilised skeletons of the Beelzebufo have shown that it sported a protective shield and powerful jaws. Scientists believe that it is likely that the Beelzebufo was both large enough and strong enough to have caught and fed on hatchling dinosaurs

For related articles click onto the following links:
DYEING POISON FROG - Dendrobates tinctorius
THE MALAYAN LEAF FROG - Megophrys nasuta
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DOG IN THE WORLD?
WHAT IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST FROG?
WHAT IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST REPTILE?
THE WOLVERINE FROG
THE WORLD'S TALLEST MAN

HOW TO GROW PEONIES FROM SEED


Peonies are generally categorised as either woody (tree peonies) or herbaceous perennials. Both of which arguably include some of the most beautiful of all hardy flowering plants. However as beautiful as they are they can also be costly to purchase and so propagating your own stock from seed is an inexpensive way to produce large numbers of plants.

peony seeds - http://www.wrightmanalpines.com/
Be aware that while all peonies can be raised from seed, any named varieties or hybrids will not grow true to the parents. That being said, species peonies are self-fertile and in the absence of other peony species will produce seed true to type. Just remember that species peopies will easily cross with other peonies (species or hybrids) and unless the species is isolated, hybrids may well occur.

Collect peony seeds fresh from the plants and sow during September on to the surface of pots pans filled with a good quality soil-based compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting'. Dried, shop-purchased seeds should be sown as soon as possible but germination rates will not be as successful as freshly collected seeds.

Cover with a layer of horticultural grit, water in and then leave outside to over winter inside a closed, but ventilated cold frame. Make sure that the compost does not dry out in summer and protect from being eaten by rats, mice or squirrels.

Peony seedlings - https://crickethillgarden.wordpress.com/
While some peony seeds will germinate the following spring, others will express 'double dormancy' which means only the root emerges after the first winter, with the stem and leaves appearing in the spring after the second winter.

In whichever year they germinate, they should be large enough to prick out in the May and can then be planted directly into a nursery bed.

Grow on in the nursery rows for a further three or four years before lifting them out of the beds and planting into their final position.

The young plants will be happy in any moist but well-drained garden soil in either full sun or semi-shade. Peonies will also benefit from having some well-rotted farm manure or garden compost dug into the ground beforehand.

Mulch annually and water freely during periods of dry weather.

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW PEONIES
HOW TO GROW PEONIES FROM SEED
HOW TO OVERWINTER TREE PEONIES
PAEONIA lactiflora 'Bowl of Beauty'
THE TREE PEONY -  Paeonia suffruticosa

WHY ARE MY GERANIUM LEAVES TURNING YELLOW?

Nutrient deficiency - http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/









Bedding geraniums (Pelargonium hybrids) are among the most popular of all flowering garden plants and while they seem to thrive on neglect this doesn't meant that they are indestructible. In the majority of hybrids the parent plants originate from southern Africa. They are naturally drought and heat tolerant, and can even tolerate minor frosts. As selected hybrids, they express an even more vigorous and hardy characteristics although they are still fairly intolerant to freezing conditions.

Bacterial wilt - http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/
Leaf yellowing in geraniums is usually the result of environmental stress, more specifically water stress, caused by either under watering or overwatering. This is most commonly expressed in pot or container grown plants which are more prone to such conditions. Nutrient deficiency will also cause yellowing of the leaves and is the easiest to treat.

Fungal diseases can also be a contributing factor to yellow leaves but this kind if infection usually only takes hold on plants already weakened by over watering. If you are unlucky enough to get an infection of bacterial wilt (characterised by collapsed leaves which turn chlorotic and eventually necrotic) then there is no treatment other than to burn infected plants. Verticillium Wilt will give similar results. There is no chemical control for verticillium wilt and so the best course of action is to destroy the plant.

Over Watering

For plants which receive any kind of cultivation the most common reason for yellowing leaves is overwatering. Pelargonium species have evolved in regions of low rainfall and as such have roots which are intolerant to prolonged conditions of damp or waterlogging.

Verticillium wilt - http://pnwhandbooks.org/
Under overly-wet conditions the specialist root hairs (which are responsible for drawing water and nutrients directly from soil) are unable to absorb oxygen (required for plant cell metabolism) from air gaps in the soil as the air has been replaced with water. These specialist root hairs effectively begin to suffocate and will quickly die if conditions do not improve.

If the root hairs have died then they are unable to draw in any water or nutrients into the body of the plant and so the plant begins to dry out. Luckily, geraniums have an effective method of coping and recovering from this kind of damage. Nutrients and moisture are drawn out of the older, lower leaves and are diverted to produce new foliage and root growth. New leaves are the most efficient regarding photosynthesis and help to produce the much needed energy to powers the growth of new root hairs.

This is the important point. The green chlorophyll pigments are broken down in the older, lower leaves to produce the building blocks required for the new leaf growth. As the chlorophyll breakdown and are removed the yellow carotenoid pigments responsible for protecting the chlorophyll against damage from ultraviolet radiation become visible. This is why geranium leaves go yellow when subjected to water stress.

Under Watering

Under watered - http://2.bp.blogspot.com/
While geraniums are perfectly suited to dry conditions they are not cacti and neither do not originate from desert regions. So they will require watering, although not as often or as much as most other regular, garden plants. Of course the absence of water will again cause water stress to the plant and while the specialist root hair are still functional a lack of moisture will not cause immediate damage.

Extended periods of dough will case the same symptoms as waterlogging which is why the characteristic yellowing of the lower leaves occurs with both over watered and under watered plants.

Nutrient deficiency

Nutrient deficiency usually occurs on mature pot or container grown plants. A lack of nitrogen, magnesium or potassium will cause all plants to struggle to produce the green chloroplasts necessary for photosynthesis. Without the green chlorophyll present in the leaves the yellow carotenoid pigments will begin to show through.

For related articles click onto the following links:
GERANIUM pratense 'Johnson's Blue'
HOW TO GROW GERANIUMS FROM SEED
WHY ARE MY GERANIUM LEAVES TURNING YELLOW?

BUY PURPLE CARROT SEEDS

Image credit - http://i1.wp.com/tinyfarmblog.com/

While everyone should be familiar with the regular orange carrot, you may be surprised to find out that it was not always this colour. Believed to have originated from Persia (modern day Iran and Afghanistan), it was introduced into Europe by the Moors during the 8th century at a time when the the roots were a dark purple! Strangely, by the time the carrot arrived in England (around 1530) carrots were typically white and reportedly often confused with the far more common parsnip.

Orange carrots are believed to have first been cultivated in the Netherlands in the 17th century as a tribute to William of Orange, who led the the struggle for Dutch independence.

Today purple carrots are back and with a vengeance and their seeds are available at the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop.

Carrot 'Purple Haze'

Carrot 'Purple Haze' retains its purple colouring when cooked and when cut into reveals a deep orange flesh which contrasting brightly with a rich purple skin. The roots are smooth, long and heavy, and can reach reaching up to 10 inches in length. It is packed with antioxidants and Vitamin A and is just as tasty when eaten raw.

For related articles click onto the following links:
CARROT FLYAWAY - 500 SEEDS
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HOW TO GROW AUTUMN CARROTS FROM SEED
Purple Carrot

WHERE DO PENGUINS LIVE?

Emperor penguins

Penguins are a familiar site to us in both zoos and feature films, and while we know that they all (well mostly) originate from extremely cold environments, you may be surprised to find out that all is not as it seems when it come to penguin habitats.

For the most part, all penguin species live in the southern hemisphere so despite, there being two polar ice caps, only Antarctica (Earth's southernmost continent) is home to indigenous penguin species. There are no indigenous penguin species in the Arctic! Conversely polar bears are only found Arctic and not at all in Antarctica.

Despite the association with the frozen landscape of Antarctica, only two of the 18- 20 penguin species actually live on the Antarctic coastline. These are the Emperor penguin and the Adélie penguin. The reason why the number of penguin species is still in dispute is because some sources within the scientific community consider the white-flippered penguin to be a separate species, while others treat it as a subspecies of the little penguin. Similarly, others believe that the royal penguin is merely a color morph of the macaroni penguin. To confuse matter more the status of the rockhopper penguins is also unclear.

As a rule (actually known as Bergmann's rule) larger penguins inhabit colder regions, while smaller penguins are generally found in temperate or even tropical climates. This would explain in part why the emperor penguin is the world's largest penguin species.

All other species are distributed among Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa. There is even one species, the Galápagos penguin, which unsurprisingly lives as far north as the Galápagos Islands. However this is only made possible by the cold, rich waters of the Antarctic Humboldt Current that flows around these islands.

Penguin distribution

Adelie Penguin - https://travelwild.com/
Adelie Penguin
The Ross Sea Region in Antarctica.

African Penguin
South western coast of Africa.

Chinstrap Penguin
Antarctica, South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia Island, South Orkneys, South Shetland, Bouvet, Balleny and Peter Islands.

Emperor Penguin
Antarctica

Fiordland Penguin
Fiordland coast and Stewart Island/Rakiura

Galapagos Penguin
The Galapagos Islands

Gentoo penguins
Gentoo Penguin
The Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Shetland, Kerguelen, Heard and Macquarie Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Humboldt Penguin
Coastal Peru and Chile.

King Penguin
Subarctic islands, Tierra del Fuego and South Georgia Island.

Little Blue Penguin
Southern Australia, New Zealand, Chatham Islands and Tasmania. There are some reports that there is a small population in Chile.

Humboldt Penguin - http://ibc.lynxeds.com/
Magellanic Penguin
The southern cone of South America, coastal south Argentina and south Chile including the Falkland Islands.

Northern Little Penguin
New Zealand, however it only nests on Motunau Island and Banks Peninsula.

Northern Rockhopper Penguin
Northern Rockhoppers mostly breed on Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island in the south Atlantic Ocean, however there are a few small populations are found on St Paul Island and Amsterdam Island in the Indian Ocean.

Royal Penguin
Inhabits the waters surrounding Antarctica, but only breeds on Macquarie Island

Rockhopper penguin - http://ibc.lynxeds.com/
Snares Penguin
New Zealand on the Snares Islands.

Southern Rockhopper Penguin
The American Southern Rockhopper Penguin lives in the Falkland Islands and islands off of Argentina and southern Chile. The Indo-Pacific Southern Rockhopper Penguin lives on islands in the Indian and western Pacific oceans.

Yellow Eyed Penguin
New Zealand, though more specifically on the southeast coast of South Island, Stewart Island, Foveaux Strait, Auckland Islands and Campbell Islands.

For related articles click onto the following links:
EMPEROR PENGUIN FACTS
EMPEROR PENGUIN
GENTOO PENGUIN
WHAT DO POLAR BEARS EAT?
WHERE DO PENGUINS LIVE?

HOW TO GROW THE ARUM LILY FROM SEED

Image credit - http://bomets.com/



Despite having a long association with funerals, the arum lily - Zantedeschia aethiopica, is a highly popular garden plant, primarily grown for its strikingly exotic, pure white blooms. Otherwise known as the Calla lily, it is a native to southern Africa where its natural habitats are the waterlogged soils next to and even submerged in streams and ponds.

Arum lily - http://www.gardensonline.com.au/
The arum lily will easy grow from seed and are best started in the spring, but before sowing they should be soaked in warm water (approximately 20-25 degrees Celsius) overnight. To prevent the water temperature from cooling place the seed and the warm water in a vacuum flask.

Using a good quality compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting', fill a 3 inch pot and sow at a rate of one seed per pot. Do not sink the seed into the soil, instead press the seed into the surface and then cover with either a thin layer of vermiculite or horticultural grit or a very thin layer of compost. This is because the presence of lights helps to initiate germination. Water thoroughly, but avoid waterlogging the compost, and place the pot inside a heated propagator at 20°C. If a propagator is not available to you then seal the pots inside a clear polythene bag and then place on a warm bright windowsill. Do not allow the compost to dry out and you can expect germination to occur from 3-4 weeks onward.

Once the seedlings have emerged remove them from the propagator or polythene bag and place outside under the protection of an unheated greenhouse or coldframe. Keep the compost moist, but not waterlogged and once the roots have established in the pots they can be hardened off and planted out into their final position, but only after the threat of frost has passed.

Plant your arum lilies in a moist soil in either full sun or partial shade. Choose a sheltered position out of strong winds and add some well-rotted organic matter before planting.

For related articles click onto the following links:
ARUM LILY 20 SEEDS
HOW TO GROW THE ARUM LILY FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW CANNA LILIES FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW THE FOXTAIL LILY
HOW TO GROW THE GIANT HIMALAYAN LILY - Cardiocrinum giganteum
HOW TO GROW THE GIANT HIMALAYAN LILY FROM SEED
DRACUNCULUS VULGARIS - The Dragonlily
HOW TO GROW THE CALLA LILY
HOW TO GROW THE CROWN IMPERIAL LILY
HOW TO PROPAGATE THE FOXTAIL LILY
Symplocarpus renifolius

EMPEROR PENGUIN FACTS


The emperor penguin is the largest, heaviest and most recognisable of all penguin species. It has few natural enemies and exploits a habitat that few other animals can. Although it numbers more than 150,000 pairs, increased fishing and pollution of the polar seas will undoubtedly seriously threaten the birds long term future.

Emperor penguin facts

1. The emperor penguin can dive to depths of 565 metres (deeper than any other bird), and can stay underwater for 18 minutes - far longer than any other bird. Some sources say that they can stay submerged for over 20 minutes!

2. Unlike regular flying birds, the emperor penguin does not have light, air-filled bones. This makes it easier for it to stay underwater without having to battle the effects of buoyancy as this will tire the bird and reduce the length of time it can stay submerged.

3. Emperor penguin breeding sites are usually situated under the shelter of a permanent ice cliff which may be many miles away from the open sea. One emperor penguin colony, at Hope bay is a strength-sapping 200 miles inland.

4. The emperor penguin lies on its belly on icy slopes and 'toboggans' across the surface with great ease.

5. During the breeding season the male emperor penguin does not feed while he takes care of the egg and subsequent chick. This period of fasting begins in March and ends in July and can be as long as 115 days.

6. The emperor penguin has to cope with wind chills as cold as -60°C and blizzards of 124 mph.

7. To help conserve heat the emperor penguin has a number of very special adaptations. It has four layers of scale-like feathers to help protect them from freezing winds. It has a low surface area relative to the size of its body, a small bill and wings to reduce heat loss. It is also insulated by a thick layer of blubber, which also acts as an energy reserve. The emperor penguin has evolved a heat exchange system in its nasal passages so that it loses as little heat as possible when breathing out. To further prevent heat loss the emperor penguin huddles in groups during the worst of the freezing weather.

8. Emperor penguins are approximately 112cm tall, they can weigh between 20-40 kg and live up to 20 years in the wild. Reports suggest that some captive individuals may live to 50 years of age.

9.Emperor penguins are excellent swimmers, reaching speeds of approximately 7.6 mph.

10. The emperor penguin is the only penguin species that breeds during the Antarctic winter.

For related articles click onto the following links:
EMPEROR PENGUIN FACTS
EMPEROR PENGUIN
GENTOO PENGUIN
WHERE DO PENGUINS LIVE?

HOW TO GROW THE TREE PEONY

How to grow the tree peony- https://petalsandwings.files.wordpress.com/
WANT TO BUY ORNAMENTAL FLOWERING PLANT SEEDS? THEN CLICK HERE FOR THE 'SEEDS OF EADEN' SEED SHOP

When in bloom, mature tree peonies - Paeonia suffruticosa, are arguably some of the most beautiful and picturesque of all flowering plants. However the common name of tree peony is a little misleading as they are not in fact trees, but are instead deciduous shrubs. They are also known by the less common yet perhaps more appropriate name of 'Moutan Peony'.

Tree peony flowers- http://rushcreekglass.com/
Tree peonies can be grown in any moist, but well-drained garden soil in full sun or semi-shade. However they will perform best in neutral, humus-rich soils, tolerating slightly acid or slightly alkaline conditions. Chose a site that is shaded from early morning sun as this will reduce frost damage in the spring. Before planting, dig the ground to at least one spit deep and dig in plenty of well-rotted farm or garden manure.

They are best planted between September and March during mild conditions. Remember that tree peonies are propagated vegetatively by grafting the material of selected cultivars onto rootstocks, so when planting make sure that the union on the stock and scion is approximately 3 inches below the soil surface level. Hoe bone-meal into the soil surface according to manufacturer's directions, taking care not to damage any roots that may be just below the surface.

Mulch annually with well-rotted farm or garden manure in April, especially if the soil is light, chalky or sandy. Water freely during periods of dry weather, and avoid disturbing the plants unless it is absolutely necessary as this can cause your tree peony to stop blooming.

No pruning is required except to deadhead the flowers as they fade or to cut out dead, diseased or dying wood.

Native to both western China and southeast Tibet, they have proven themselves to be surprisingly robust despite their papery flamboyant blooms and architectural foliage. While many species of tree peony are fully winter hardy the young growth will generally start to appear before the end of the spring frosts which leaves them susceptible to cold damage. It is therefore sensible to provide artificial protection at this time such as horticultural fleece or a sacking screen erected on a bamboo tripod. Once the new growth has hardened off, or the threat of late frosts have passed all protection may be removed.

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW CERCIS SILIQUASTRUM
HOW TO GROW PEONIES
HOW TO GROW PEONIES FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW THE TREE PEONY
HOW TO OVERWINTER TREE PEONIES
PAEONIA lactiflora 'Bowl of Beauty'
THE DRAGON BLOOD TREE
THE TREE PEONY -  Paeonia suffruticosa

WHAT IS THE WORLD'S HEAVIEST FLYING BIRD?


We should all now be familiar with the concept that birds are the only living relatives of an advanced subgroup of theropod dinosaurs and now classified within the clade Dinosauria. And of course when we think of flying dinosaurs we think of the Pterosaurs which incidentally were not from the clade Dinosauria but were instead a group of flying reptiles from within the clade Pterosaur.

Kori bustard - http://www.deviantart.com/
Be that as it may, Pterosaurs spanned a wide range of sizes, from the very small Nemicolopterus to the largest known flying creatures of all time such as the Quetzalcoatlus and Hatzegopteryx. Scientists estimated that the largest Quetzalcoatlus fossils came from an individual with a wingspan as large as 10–11 meters and an estimated weight of around 200–250 kilograms.

So if this is a benchmark for the largest size possible for a creature to be and still be able to fly, what is currently the world's largest flying animal?

There are several contenders for the title In no particular order, the first is the Kori bustard a native to Africa. The male Kori bustard is significantly larger than the female and typically weigh between 7 and 21 kg.

Great bustard - http://www.pbase.com/richard2051/
The second contender is the closely related Great bustard whose range extends across southern and central Europe, and across temperate Asia. As with the Kori bustard the males are significantly larger than the female and can reach up to 21 kg in weight. Heavier specimens have been reported but as yet have remain unverified.

The third is the Mute swan, a majestic specimen also native to much of Europe and Asia. Surprisingly it comes in second in size to the trumpeter swan, although male mute swans easily exceed male trumpeter swans in mass. The the top normal weight for a mute swan is roughly 15 kg, however one unusually large specimen from Poland weighed almost 23 kg and is regarded as the largest weight ever verified for a flying bird. Be that as it may, is is in question whether this particular heavyweight is still capable of taking flight.

For related articles click onto the following links:
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DOG IN THE WORLD?
WHAT IS THE WORLD'S HEAVIEST FLYING BIRD?
WHAT IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST REPTILE?
THE WORLD'S TALLEST MAN