Terror Bird

Extinct Species (Phorusrhacidae)

Background

A large flightless predatory bird that ruled the plains of South America around 62-2.5 million years ago, terror bird was at the top of the food chain and had height range from 3.3 - 9.8 feet and weighed up to half a ton. This species of extinct bird had 4 different lower classifications, each one with different adaptations in order to chase and kill their prey. This bird hunted and killed and eviscerated their prey with just a beak. The terror bird killed large prey by chasing them and stabbing them repeatedly with an up/down motion. With this motion their prey would die instantly or become paralyzed. South America was the only continent dominated by this terror bird, while all other continents were dominated by mammals.
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Reasons of Extinction

Around 12-15 million years ago what is now Central America was formed and used as a bridge for animals between North America. New species of predators were introduced into South America and the terror bird migrated to North America. For the first time in millions of years, the terror bird had to compete for food and defend itself. The terror bird had tough time competing since it had ruled the South American plains. This new way of living was probably a cause for the extinction of some of the families of this bird. The climate change also had a big part to do with this. These birds probably could not adapt to this rapid change and eventually disappeared of the earth. The latest family of these birds lived around 2.5 million years ago, but lived in North America instead of South America.
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Terror Bird vs. Wolves