T = Terror Bird, A to Z Blog Challenge

Technically known as Phorusrhacidae or Titanis, “Terror Bird” has a much nicer ring to it. It has a very distinct feel to it, and if that feel is very SyFy channel, well who cares? It got your attention, didn’t it?

As this would, were it chasing after your car as this picture would suggest.

As this would, were it chasing after your car as this picture would suggest.

They grew to almost 7 feet tall and lived about 50 million years ago, just as the dinosaurs were dying out (though they are said to be related to the formidable, prodigious Tyrannosaurus Rex) and mammals were dominating the land. Some estimates put them between 3.5 feet tall all the way up to almost 10 feet tall. Based on their build, they were very fast and agile, possessed a sharp beak, and had a powerful neck with which to power said curved beak. However, it probably went after the smaller creatures, as it could not chew, but rather gulped its prey whole or in chunks that it could rip off. Even with this, it is said to have dominated the South American continent, the first time a bird is known to have been an apex predator. Some scientists now think there is a possibility that Terror Bird was a vegetarian, but not all are convinced.

Which is good, because this looks too cool to be a terrorizer of beets and palm fronds.

Which is good, because this looks too cool to be a terrorizer of beets and palm fronds.

The beak of the Terror Bird (possibly also known as Satan’s cockatoo) is said to have been its main weapon. It would sprint up to something, rear its head back, and stab the prey with the sharp tip of its beak, stunning and often injuring it beyond repair. It was probably reasonably intelligent and had excellent hearing. It was also very, very fast. Scientists think that it could run up to 45 miles per hour. Thankfully, they had vestigial wings (like its relative the T. Rex’s arms?) and could not fly. We luckily missed out on these ostriches from hell, because they would have certainly been able to kill us without an issue.

I'm assuming this is a tall man and not a Pygmy.

I’m assuming this is a tall man and not a Pygmy.

There are several on display, however, so that we can properly appreciate the power and size of the Terror Bird. If you would like more information on the Terror Bird, including some lunatics who built a mechanical one, try to catch Discovery channel’s specials Monsters Resurrected. All of the roughly 45 minute segments are interesting, but the first one on the Terror Bird may be my favorite (relatively cheesy CGI notwithstanding).

For those geeks out there, these things look like meaner versions of chocobos from Final Fantasy, don’t they? Sure, they look cute and cuddly, but if you look at them, they could probably do some serious damage.

Go ahead and snuggle up and ride it while you can. Because after midnight, it's coming for you. Terror Chocobo!

Go ahead and snuggle up and ride it while you can. Because after midnight, it’s coming for you. Terror Chocobo!

Alternate letter considerations: Telepathy, time travel, The Tub (an absolutely foul method of torture)

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~ by Darren Endymion on August 24, 2015.

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