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Re: What would Hitchcock have thought...?
Adrienne Mayor wrote:
We're talking about the possibility that Ice Age teratorns were capable of
picking up a small human child in its beak (not talons), much like what was
reported in the news item from South Africa that began this discussion.
Argentavis magnificens was huge, over 5 ft tall weighing 170 pounds, etc.
But it lived in the Late Miocene, and never interacted with North American
Indians, so it's not relevant to what I am suggesting:>
It is relevant to your comment that teratorns picked up prey with "strong
beaks" and your belief that they "could pick up a small child". I used _A.
magnificens_ as an example, since it was the largest of the known teratorns
and therefore the most likely, if possible at all, of carrying off
child-sized prey. The structurally weak and highly kinetic skulls (and the
resultant inability to kill or dismember large prey) I mentioned are found
in all the large teratorns, including _Teratornis merriami_ and _Teratornis
incredibilis_, both of which survived into the late Pleistocene. This
evidence argues against teratorns preying on child-sized prey or being able
to pick up prey of that size using their beak (or the feet for that matter).