One of the strangest predators the world has ever known. An awesome group of native predators, a 10–foot–tall, flightless, killer bird: called Phorusrhacos, a group of flesh eating birds aptly nicknamed "Terror Birds".
— Allen, describing Phorusrhacos

Phorusrhacos (meaning "Rag-Bearer"), more commonly known as "The Terror Bird", was a genus of large, flightless, predatory bird which lived from the Miocene to the Pleistocene epoch in South America. It was the top predator of its ecosystem/region until other predators such as Smilodon migrated from North America and migrated to South America.

Even so, Phorusrhacos was the archetypal Terror Bird of the Quaternary Period, simply terrorizing its prey for millions of years. Phorusrachos itself, lived from 5 Million Years Ago - 10,000/6,000 Years Ago - however, the line of South American Terror Birds to which it belonged had dominated South America for over 27 million years overrall.



Phorusrhacos lived during the Miocene and Pleistocene period from 5,000,000 to 15,000 years ago. These creatures evolved when South America was an isolated continent. But when it got closer and closer to North American, the mammals, the Sabre–Tooth Cats outcompeted the birds as top predators. They only died out just before modern humans appeared.


  • Male Phorusrhacos
  • Female Phorusrhacos

Phorusrhacos was the largest flightless bird all time. These animals were the other top predators of Prehistoric South America. Standing 10 feet, over three meters tall, these were a group of flesh eating killer birds. These were magnificent creatures.

These birds could gobble down huge chunks of flesh and bone and hide. South America wasn't the only place these Terror Birds were doing well. Once the land bridge opened to North America, they were one of the few creatures to spread north successfully. While the Terror Birds in South America eat Smilodons leftovers, their cousins were running riot in Texas and Florida.

In addition, the males and females were different in appearance and size.