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Palaeontology

First known fossilized 'terror bird' footprints found in Argentina

By T.K. Randall
October 13, 2023 · Comment icon 7 comments
Museum exhibit of a terror bird.
Terror birds roamed the Earth for millions of years. Image Credit: Pixabay / Michael_Pointner
The well-preserved tracks were left in the silt by a species of bird that would have made even today's ostriches seem tame.
Standing up to 3 meters in height and sporting razor-sharp claws as well as a beak capable of piercing a human's skull, terror birds were a group of enormous predatory flightless birds which roamed the Earth from 53 million years ago to as recently as 100,000 years ago.

Dwarfing even today's ostriches, these ferocious creatures would have been a force to be reckoned with.

Now, in a world-first, paleontologists have discovered what are believed to be the first ever fossilized terror bird footprints at a site in Argentina.
Dating back approximately 8 million years, the prints are surprisingly well-preserved and are thought to have been left by a member of the Mesembriornithinae subspecies.

Footprints might not seem like much to go on, but quite a lot can be ascertained from them.

In this case, the researchers believe that this particular terror bird had been running across a mudflat at around 2.74 meters per second and weighed approximately 55kg.



Source: Phys.org | Comments (7)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Electric Scooter 5 months ago
Terror bird burgers will one day be on sale, mmm. They sound like they will be super hot and spicy.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Michelangelos 5 months ago
For those who are not sure where did they saw these birds before, they had great roles in The Dark Crystal
Comment icon #3 Posted by Cho Jinn 5 months ago
I am sure they were delicious.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Timothy 5 months ago
Tasted like chicken.
Comment icon #5 Posted by razman 5 months ago
So now we got terrorist birds too?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Cho Jinn 5 months ago
Hey now, they were displaced from that place they decided to occupy!
Comment icon #7 Posted by NCC1701 5 months ago
That's what they think of us too". 100.000 years ago we could have been on their menu.


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