Phorusrhacidae

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'''Phorusrhacids''' ("Rag-Bearers"), or '''terror birds''', were a family of large carnivorous [[flightless bird]]s that were the dominant [[predator]]s in [[South America]] during the [[Cenozoic]], 62–2 [[Ma]] ago. (Blanco 2005).
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'''Phorusrhacids''' ("Rag-Bearers"), or '''terror birds''', were a family of large carnivorous [[flightless bird]]s that were the dominant [[predator]]s in [[South America]] during most of the [[Cenozoic]], 62–2 [[Ma]] ago. (Blanco 2005).
They were roughly 1–3 meters (3–10 feet) tall. Their closest modern-day relatives are believed to be the 80 cm-tall [[seriema]]s. The group is mostly known from the island continent of South America, although they may also have lived in Antarctica before it was engulfed in ice (Case 1987). ''[[Titanis walleri]]'', one of the larger species, is known from [[Texas]] and [[Florida]] in [[North America]]. This makes the phorusrhacids the only known example of large South American predators migrating north during the [[Great American Interchange]] (which occurred after the volcanic [[Isthmus of Panama]] [[land bridge]] rose ca. 3 Ma ago). It was once believed that ''T. walleri'' only became extinct around the time of the arrival of humans in North America, (Baskin 1995) but subsequent datings of ''Titanis'' fossils have failed to provide evidence for their survival more recently than 1.8 Ma ago. (McFadden 2007).  
They were roughly 1–3 meters (3–10 feet) tall. Their closest modern-day relatives are believed to be the 80 cm-tall [[seriema]]s. The group is mostly known from the island continent of South America, although they may also have lived in Antarctica before it was engulfed in ice (Case 1987). ''[[Titanis walleri]]'', one of the larger species, is known from [[Texas]] and [[Florida]] in [[North America]]. This makes the phorusrhacids the only known example of large South American predators migrating north during the [[Great American Interchange]] (which occurred after the volcanic [[Isthmus of Panama]] [[land bridge]] rose ca. 3 Ma ago). It was once believed that ''T. walleri'' only became extinct around the time of the arrival of humans in North America, (Baskin 1995) but subsequent datings of ''Titanis'' fossils have failed to provide evidence for their survival more recently than 1.8 Ma ago. (McFadden 2007).  

Latest revision as of 20:47, 24 February 2011

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