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Re: On Terror Birds & Teratorns

From: "Ivan Kwan" <dino_rampage@hotmail.com>
Reply-To: dino_rampage@hotmail.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: On Terror Birds & Teratorns
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2003 23:25:46 +0800

Here you get my answer on some of these questions.

1) Are the terror birds really closely related to the seriemas of South America?
Certainly,the seriemas are basal to phorusrhacids,though not to the diatrymids,wich are galloanserian.the path seriema->terror bird is known by several more or less intermediate steps,such as bathornithids and Aenigmavis.

3) Did any terror birds survive until the Late Pleistocene?
I think Titanis was represented in the La Brea pits while other terror birds could be found in SA.

4) Is _Titanis_ the only North American phorusrhacid?
For as far as I know,yes.

5) Which teratorns survived until the Late Pleistocene?
Teratornis itself (known from NA as well as Cuba) and Cathartornis.I'm quite sure they were still present in SA as well.
6) Is the teratorn-as-giant-vulture hypothesis still accepted?
By some,yes,but others including me favor them to be giant groundwalking birds hunting small to mediumsized vertebrates as well as eating carrion.As for teratornid-relationships,little is known. They're
possibly closer related to other birds,like storks and pelicans,than to cathartids.(or accipittrids,pandionids,sagitarids or falconids for that matter)
7) Did teratorns have bare necks, feathered necks or is it still unknown?

I hope I helped you,

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