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Phorusrhacus

Phorusrhacos

Phorusrhacus as portrayed in "Walking with Beasts"

Phorusrhacus was the "terror bird" that roamed the plains of South America as one of the top predators, for millions of years. They were one of a few species of animals that successfully migrated to North America, when the two continents became connected through a land bridge. They were huge flightless birds up to three meters tall and weighing some 150 kilograms. Their massive hooked beaks and sharp talons, along with the speed they could run at, made them fearsome hunters, but they most likely scavenged where they could as well. The fossil record of these birds is poor (fossils found in Argentina and Florida, USA) and the literature gives many different time ranges for when they actually lived. (31)