Scientists find fossil of 'terror bird'

Posted on Sunday, October 29 2006 @ 15:30 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Paleontologists have dug up a fossil of a new species of phorusrhacid, giant predators also known as terror birds that once dominated South America.
Terror birds were the biggest birds the world has ever seen, and the new species is by far the largest terror bird yet, says paleontologist Luis Chiappe, director of the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, California.
"Some of these birds had skulls that were two and a half feet [almost a meter] in length. [They] were colossal animals," he said.

The new, currently unnamed species stood about ten feet (three meters) tall and had a head as big as that of a horse. The largest terror birds could likely swallow dog-size prey in a single gulp, experts say.
Read more about this bird at National Geographic.

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