File this under “weird”. Even the Iranian journalists posting this story used ‘weird’ in the headline–
“The dead body of a strange dinosaur-like bird has been reportedly found near the city of Meshginshahr in the northwestern Iranian province of Ardebil. The locals found the feathered bipedal creature, which seemed to have died a few days ago, near a remote village of Meshginshahr, IRNA reported on Sunday. A team of officials of Iran’s Environment Protection Organization (EPO) were dispatched to the region to investigate whether the reports were true. One of the villagers has reportedly hidden the carcass and the EPO team is trying to find it. The team has managed to obtain a photo of the creature taken by one of the locals. The team has also found evidence that confirmed the locals’ claims the bird lived in a cave near the village. The creature has a reptilian skull with long canine teeth and large molars. It has small wing bones like those of flightless birds. The avifauna of Iran includes a total of 527 species, none of which are similar to the found creature; however, the discovery needs ornithologists to verify the claims. Scientists believe that fossil evidence demonstrates birds and dinosaurs shared many features such as hollow bones, gastrolith in the digestive system, nest-building and brooding behaviors.”
Below is an Iranian news spot about the ‘find.’
Could be a hoax, as always, caveat emptor! But Iran certainly seems to be taking it seriously. Remember, the mythological creature the Roc was the mythological bird beast of Persia. The roc is featured in 1001 Arabian Nights and in Sinbad’s adventures. A roc or rukh (from the Arabic and Persian rokh, asserted by Louis Charles Casartellito be an abbreviated form of Persian simurgh) is an enormous legendary bird of prey, often said to be white. [Wikipedia] Roc is allegedly a gigantic winged bird like a peacock, with the head of a dog, and the claws of a lion.
In the 13th century, Marco Polo stated “It was for all the world like an eagle, but one indeed of enormous size; so big in fact that its quills were twelve paces long and thick in proportion. And it is so strong that it will seize an elephant in its talons and carry him high into the air and drop him so that he is smashed to pieces; having so killed him, the bird swoops down on him and eats him at leisure”. Marco Polo explicitly distinguishes the bird from a griffin, another mythological bird. The Roc is to the Persians a messenger and sign of the divine, fertility and purification. It alights on a person to indicate god’s approval of that person to be king and the representation of the divine on earth.