Biggest Terror Bird Found

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Biggest terror bird found, according to articles in news@nature and ScienceNOW 25 Oct 2006 and Nature vol. 443, p929, 26 Oct 2006. The biggest bird skull ever found has been discovered in Argentina. The skull is 71.6cm (28in) long and has a huge hooked beak and belongs to a type of extinct bird called a phorusrahcid or "terror bird". Phorusrachids are believed to have lived in South America between two and sixty million years ago. Their closest living relatives are believed to be seriemas, carnivorous birds that are about 50cm (20in) tall. Luis Chaippe of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles commented: "There’s little doubt it was used for killing prey and tearing apart chunks of flesh." A 43.7 cm (18 in) long slender leg bone named a tarsometarsus was also found with the skull. This is also a record size and indicates the bird could run fast. Chiappe also commented that terror birds "were like dinosaurs without a tail, and became the mega-predators of the continent."

Editorial Comment: Fossilised bones enable scientists to estimate a bird’s size, but bones cannot tell you what the bird ate. As this bird is extinct, no living scientist has seen it eat anything. The huge hooked beak could just as easily have been used to eat plants. If it was the ancestor of the present day seriemas, that is good evidence that birds have gone downhill, not evolved upwards. Genesis tells us that all birds and animals were created to eat plants, but as the world degenerated some become violent and took to eating flesh rather than fruit. After Noah’s flood the environment became much harsher and mankind was given permission to eat birds and animals. Therefore, it would be harder for large birds to survive, because of lack of food and being hunted by humans. This has happened to other birds, such as the giant Moa, so it could have happened to phorusrahcids. (Ref. diet, Aves, degeneration.)

Evidence News 24th April 2007

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