Photo 8 Sep 97 notes 
After the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs about 65 million years ago, the terror birds were the closest the world has ever come to seeing the imposing, predatory “raptors” of the Mesozoic return. One of the most recently-described species, the approximately 15 million year old Kelenken guillermoi, was a roughly ten-foot-tall carnivore with a two-foot skull tipped in a long beak well-suited to tearing flesh. Not every species grew quite so large, but, as a whole, these flightless, hatchet-headed avians came in a variety of sizes and were among the chief predators in prehistoric South America before the coalescence of the Panama land bridge allowed the formidable dogs, bears, and cats of the north to extend their reach. But this peculiar group of birds – technically known as phorusrhacids – was not wholly left in “splendid isolation.” At least one branch of the terror bird family tree, the appropriately-named Titanis, made it northward to stalk the grasslands of prehistoric Texas and Florida, and now a new paper suggests that these imposing birds gained a toe-hold in Africa, as well.

(via Transatlantic Terror Birds | Wired Science | Wired.com)

After the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs about 65 million years ago, the terror birds were the closest the world has ever come to seeing the imposing, predatory “raptors” of the Mesozoic return. One of the most recently-described species, the approximately 15 million year old Kelenken guillermoi, was a roughly ten-foot-tall carnivore with a two-foot skull tipped in a long beak well-suited to tearing flesh. Not every species grew quite so large, but, as a whole, these flightless, hatchet-headed avians came in a variety of sizes and were among the chief predators in prehistoric South America before the coalescence of the Panama land bridge allowed the formidable dogs, bears, and cats of the north to extend their reach. But this peculiar group of birds – technically known as phorusrhacids – was not wholly left in “splendid isolation.” At least one branch of the terror bird family tree, the appropriately-named Titanis, made it northward to stalk the grasslands of prehistoric Texas and Florida, and now a new paper suggests that these imposing birds gained a toe-hold in Africa, as well.

(via Transatlantic Terror Birds | Wired Science | Wired.com)

#birds #terror bird #fossil #extinct

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  11. swimmingferret reblogged this from zillatamer and added:
    Just think of those fucking killer birds from that movie 1000 BC; they would fuck you up something fierce.
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    Wait, hold up- they got to Africa? When did I get so behind on paleontology…
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