Saturday, February 25, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Prehistoric 'terror bird' was a vegetarian


Posted on Sunday, 1 September, 2013 | Comment icon 23 comments

Terror birds at the Horniman Museum, London. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Jim Linwood
Once thought to have been a vicious predator, the 7ft terror bird was actually a harmless plant-eater.
With an appearance not dissimilar to a large ostrich, the species known as Gastornis sported a large sharp beak and would have lived in what is now Europe approximately 55 to 40 million years ago. Palaeontologists examining fossil remains of the creature originally concluded that its beak and large size would have made it a formidable predator in a world dominated by small mammals.

New clues have come to light however which suggest that this might not have actually been the case. Terror bird footprints appear to show no sign of the razor sharp claws that such a predator would be expected to have while on closer inspection their weight and build would have made it impossible for the birds to chase down fleeing prey.

Another significant indicator was the calcium isotopic composition of the fossilized bones which can help determine if a species is carnivorous or herbivorous. In the case of Gastornis the composition seemed to indicate a herbivorous species.

Researchers are now attempting to piece together exactly what these creatures would have eaten and how they were able to thrive for so long.

Source: Discovery News | Comments (23)

Tags: Terror bird, Prehistoric


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by Lava_Lady on 28 September, 2013, 22:00
It looks like the bird in "The Giant Claw".... great movie, if you like them crappy.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Asadora on 29 September, 2013, 1:41
It looks like the bird in "The Giant Claw".... great movie, if you like them crappy. That reminds me of the bird like creatures from Dark Crystal: Awesome movie by the way
Comment icon #16 Posted by Frank Merton on 29 September, 2013, 1:51
Lovely
Comment icon #17 Posted by Lava_Lady on 29 September, 2013, 1:53
That reminds me of the bird like creatures from Dark Crystal: Awesome movie by the way I haven't thought of that movie in decades! Wow, thanks for the reminder, I'll have to look it up again. And those birds look a lot better than the one in Giant Claw, lol
Comment icon #18 Posted by Asadora on 29 September, 2013, 2:05
I haven't thought of that movie in decades! Wow, thanks for the reminder, I'll have to look it up again. And those birds look a lot better than the one in Giant Claw, lol You're welcome for the reminder:) If I remember correctly the bird creature on the left in the picture is the head honcho and the one on the right is the one that always made that creepy 'mmmmmmmmmmm' sound. haha.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Frank Merton on 29 September, 2013, 2:07
And they are sooo well groomed!
Comment icon #20 Posted by Lava_Lady on 29 September, 2013, 2:27
You're welcome for the reminder:) If I remember correctly the bird creature on the left in the picture is the head honcho and the one on the right is the one that always made that creepy 'mmmmmmmmmmm' sound. haha. Haha! It was so long ago I don't remember that but I recall the way they moved gave me the creeps. Something about the puppetry. lol
Comment icon #21 Posted by Lava_Lady on 29 September, 2013, 2:30
And they are sooo well groomed! I guess "busy" was the fashion back in the Dark Crystal! lol
Comment icon #22 Posted by Frank Merton on 29 September, 2013, 3:21
Pretentious and stuffy.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Simbi Laveau on 29 September, 2013, 8:22
It looks like the dodo bird


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5851673
251306
165766

 
Desert people evolve to drink poisonous water
2-25-2017
The local people of Chile's Atacama desert have developed the ability to drink water laced with arsenic.
Astronauts could fly around the Moon by 2019
2-25-2017
NASA is considering whether to send a crew on its first integrated Orion, SLS flight around the Moon.
Has the Hadron Collider disproven ghosts ?
2-24-2017
According to Professor Brian Cox, if ghosts existed, CERN's atom smasher should have found them by now.
Boy receives 'biggest ever' antivenom dose
2-24-2017
Matthew Mitchell was rushed to hospital after being bitten by a deadly funnel-web spider in Australia.
Featured book
 
By Guy Lyon Playfair
A look at the story of Peggy Hodgson and her four children who, between 1977 and 1979, were at the center of one of the most terrifying poltergeist cases ever documented.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Crushing cans
Posted 2-25-2017 | 3 comments
Muhammad Rashid from Pakistan crushes 77 cans with his elbow within one minute.
 
Is time real ?
Posted 2-24-2017 | 0 comments
Bill Nye talks about the concept of time and how our subjective perceptions of it can change.
 
Is it possible to re-freeze the Arctic ?
Posted 2-23-2017 | 1 comment
Scientists have proposed a rather unorthodox solution to the problems caused by climate change.
 
Giant horse conch
Posted 2-22-2017 | 1 comment
A huge conch makes light work of a tulip snail which fails to make its escape.
 
Water on the Moon
Posted 2-21-2017 | 7 comments
For a long time scientists thought the Moon was bone dry, but as it turns out - it isn't.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Saved by a stranger
2-7-2017 | Green River Wyoming
 
Spooky sense
2-4-2017 | India
 
Ghost car
2-4-2017 | Chicago, IL, USA
 
Mysterious powder
2-4-2017 | USA, North Carolina
 
Puerto Rico UFO sighting
2-4-2017 | Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico
 
Phantom vehicle
1-6-2017 | Ramer, United States
 
True ghost stories
1-6-2017 | Southern California
 
Floating tiles
1-6-2017 | Chewelah, Washington
 
A haunting in Northern California
12-28-2016 | Northern California
 
Strange creature in South Africa
12-28-2016 | South Africa, Hoedspruit.
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ