'Terror bird' remains found in Argentina

October 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 'terror bird' used powerful beak to jab like an agile boxer (w/ Video)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Crowds within crowd found to outperform 'wisdom of the crowd'

January 18, 2018

A team of researchers affiliated with institutions in Argentina, the U.S. and Germany has found that there is a way to improve on the "wisdom of the crowd"—separate the people in a given crowd into smaller groups and let ...

Study sheds new light on ancient human-turkey relationship

January 17, 2018

For the first time, research has uncovered the origins of the earliest domestic turkeys in ancient Mexico. The study also suggests turkeys weren't only prized for their meat—with demand for the birds soaring with the Mayans ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.