Phorusrhacids: Flightless terror birds stalked Antarctica after the dinosaurs’ demise


Illustration of a terror bird and other animals that may have lived in what is now Antarctica at the same time

C. Acosta Hospitaleche & W. Jones/Palaeontological Association 2024

A 2-metre-tall flightless bird may have been the top predator in what is now Antarctica 50 million years ago.

Two 8-centimetre fossil claws found on Seymour Island, near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, belonged to a large family of similar birds that palaeontologists call terror birds, according to an analysis by Carolina Acosta Hospitaleche at the National University of La Plata in Argentina and Washington Jones at the…

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