This monster's name says it all. For years, fast and fierce terror birds ruled South America. Find out more about the bird that swallowed small animals in one gulp!
Children's LiteratureIn the ancient world many millions of years ago, the continents of North and South America were separated by an ocean. Gigantic birds and beasts lived in the open forests and grasslands of the south. One such creature was the phorusrhacos, or terror bird. This bird was a meat eater and weighed 350 pounds and stood eight feet tall. This strange bird looked like a modern day crane or ostrich, with a small body perched on two skinny legs. However, because of its monstrous size, this bird could hunt down its prey and fell it with its monstrous claws and the special deadly claws that were found at the tip of its wings. This was not a flying bird. When nature joined the two separate continents, many animals traveled back and forth between the now single continent. Animals such as the saber tooth tiger traveled south and began to eliminate the source of food for the birds. These birds are believed to have become extinct about 15,000 years ago as their food source began to dwindle. The series “Extinct Monsters” presents six of these giant animals that lived long ago. Through the supplemental pages that offer Internet sites, books to be read, and explanations of unfamiliar words, the reader will increase vocabulary while learning about this giant. There is also an index and “Monster Facts,” brief facts presented on several pages to increase the reader’s knowledge. This is an excellent addition to Social Studies curriculums for grades 1-3 and higher where reluctant readers are addressed. Reviewer: Joyce Rice
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