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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).


PTN