'Terror bird' remains found in Argentina

Oct 26, 2006

A fossil found in Argentina of a large carnivorous bird capable of eating dog-sized mammals challenges traditional thoughts on how birds evolved.

The fossil of a 10-foot tall phorusrhacid, or "terror bird," was discovered in 15 million-year-old rocks in Argentina's southern Patagonia region near Comallo, Argentina, the (London) Telegraph said Tuesday. Bones recovered included a limb bone and 28-inch, nearly intact skull with an eagle-like bill.

The flightless phorusrhacid could capture and eat dog-sized creatures roaming South America millions of years ago, the Telegraph said.

The discovery suggests that these birds, thought to weigh up to 1,000 pounds, may have been more agile and less heavy than thought, and capable of running up to 30 mph. The currently accepted view is that as they evolved the birds became slower and less agile because they grew fatter.

Experts said they believe that the extinct birds were carnivores because their beaks resemble those of eagles and vultures.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Ancient Greek well yields rare wooden statue

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

US state reaches deal to keep dinosaur mummy

13 hours ago

North Dakota reached a $3 million deal to keep a rare fossil of a duckbilled dinosaur on display at the state's heritage center, where it will serve as a cornerstone for the facility's $51 million expansion, officials said ...

Jerusalem stone may answer Jewish revolt questions

16 hours ago

Israeli archaeologists said Tuesday they have discovered a large stone with Latin engravings that lends credence to the theory that the reason Jews revolted against Roman rule nearly 2,000 ago was because ...

Kung fu stegosaur

16 hours ago

Stegosaurs might be portrayed as lumbering plant eaters, but they were lethal fighters when necessary, according to paleontologists who have uncovered new evidence of a casualty of stegosaurian combat. The ...

User comments : 0