Ancient AnimalsRecent PostsTop Articles

7 terrifying prehistoric birds to make you run for your life

Millions of years ago, Earth was swarmed with gigantic animals and birds that were nothing like modern-day. They looked beastly and could make you shiver even from a distance. But what is most intriguing is that the bird species in the prehistoric era were incredibly terrifying. 

If humans existed in prehistoric times, they would have been the size of ants. The prehistoric birds that we will show you today will make you run for your life right away. 


Teratornis, also known as teratorns, were North American birds. Their fossils and subfossils have been found in many American regions, including California, Nevada and Arizona. Unlike ordinary birds today, these creatures had a wingspan of around 3.5 to 3.8meters which means 11 to 12 feet. They also weighed 15kgs and looked terrifying most of the time. Their fossils have been found from the early Pliocene to the late Pliocene age. 

These monstrous creatures hunted and preyed on several animals that were the size of rabbits. They swallowed them whole. With its feet, it would tear the entire animal to pieces and eat it away. Although they are known to be extinct 10,000 years ago, recent research continues to find out more. 


Around six million years ago, Argentavis marked themselves as the giant birds on planet earth with a 70kg body and 7m length. They were naturally haunting to look at. These creatures were Argentinians and are said to be the members of the extinct group of teratorns. The bird had all the features of a contemporary bird- hollow and robust bones, sturdy wings. 

These creatures took good advantage of their habitat and travelled large distances for their prey. It had a skull as long as a forearm. So, you can imagine how they looked. However, the animal was an active hunter and the worst animal to have caught close to you at that time. 

Giant statute of the extinct Haast’s eagle (Harpagornis moorei) “greeting” travelers at Wellington airport. Image: Jim Scarff
Haast’s eagle 

If you have ever wondered what birds are the largest eagles, these will blow your mind. Sources suggest that the Haast’s eagle went extinct around 1400CE. Fossils indicate that they lived on the South Island of New Zealand. These creatures generally loved to prey on large flightless animals. They majorly loved to prey on bird species. 

Did you know that Haast’s eagle could attack birds at a speed of 80kilometer per hour? That was the most terrifying thing about them. It also used its large beak to eat and tear the internal organs of its prey. This caused the animals to die on the spot and lose blood excessively.


Also known as the Thunder Bird, Brontornis was a carnivore bird with a length of 2.8meter long. They were majorly situated in the regions of Argentina and Santa Cruz province. Fossils found several legs and feet of these unusual creatures. However, information about vertebrae and skull material is yet to be unveiled. 

Generally, sources suggest that they belong to the Miocene period. They were also known to have excellent hunting strategies as they focused on prey very accurately. It is also known to have co-existed well with slightly smaller but active phorusrhacids like Phorusrhacos.


During the Pliocene age, Titanis was meant to be roaming around the streets of our planet. These beastly creatures went extinct during the Gelasian age around 1 million years ago. Majorly, the species was found in North American regions and were giant flightless birds. These are also known as terror birds and weigh around 150kgs. They also featured a length of 8feet, 2 inches. 

These birds were said to be flightless as their wings were considerably tiny. They also had a rigid waist that did not allow them to fold back their hands. Although many theories suggest that the Titans were the most dangerous birds to exist, it is not practical. 


Physornis was known as the largest and the most ferocious group of Phorusrhacidae. Scientists suggest that these flightless birds had come from South America and lived during the Oligocene era. They are older than the most prehistoric birds and lived around twenty-three million years ago. 

Although the height of physornis is not known, they are said to be over 2 meters high. They were also carnivore animals and hunted in South America. 


These are also carnivore animals that were as long as 3 meters tall. These birds were also known to have incredible killing techniques that helped them catch prey without any hassle. They were also said to be capable of prolonged and high speed.

The bottom line 

Prehistoric birds were dangerous to look at for a wide variety of reasons. Although research has found out decent information about them, there is still a lot more to unravel. In the coming years, we can expect to learn more about them and their lifestyle.

%d bloggers like this: