Sunday, January 21, 2018
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:

6084229
260491
172601

 
Undersea 'Mordor' found off coast of Australia
1-20-2018
The 'Tolkienesque' landscape is made up of 26 underwater volcanoes buried beneath seabed sediment.
'Brother mummies' had different fathers
1-20-2018
Scientists have finally solved the mystery of the relationship between two 4,000-year-old mummies.
Saturn's moon Titan has its own sea level
1-19-2018
Just like the oceans here on Earth, Titan's hydrocarbon seas and lakes lie at an average elevation.
'Haunted' painting has sold in New Zealand
1-19-2018
An acrylic painting purchased from an antique store has earned itself something of a haunted reputation.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Brian Cox talks to Buzz Aldrin
Posted 1-18-2018 | 1 comment
Professor Brian Cox discusses space travel with legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
 
Typing vs handwriting
Posted 1-16-2018 | 2 comments
Is typing on a computer better or worse for your memory then writing on paper ?
 
Can coding help avoid job automation ?
Posted 1-12-2018 | 0 comments
Taking up coding and technical skills to avoid automation may be counter-productive.
 
Dinosaur death match
Posted 1-8-2018 | 0 comments
A look at how various dinosaurs might have fared against the predators of their day.
 
Best records of 2017
Posted 1-4-2018 | 0 comments
A look back at some of the most bizarre and amazing world records of the last year.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Strange feeling
1-18-2018 | Different places
 
Unexplained voices
1-18-2018 | United States
 
First college apartment
12-31-2017 | Daytona Beach, FL
 
The night my niece was murdered
12-19-2017 | Delhi, Louisiana
 
Mysterious Headlights
12-10-2017 | Morgan County, Alabama
 
Possibly a child ghost
12-10-2017 | Edgewater, Maryland
 
True story about black-eyed kids
12-10-2017 | Portland oregon
 
Alien or paranormal encounter ?
12-10-2017 | United States
 
Ouija board experience
12-10-2017 | Ohio
 

         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