Project 2809: F. J. Degrange, C. P. Tambussi, M. L. Taglioretti, A. Dondas, F. Scaglia. 2015. A new Mesembriornithinae (Aves, Phorusrhacidae) provides new insights into the phylogeny and sensory capabilities of terror birds. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 35 (2):e912656.
Specimen: † Psilopterus lemoinei (unvouchered)
View: body


Terror birds constitute the most outstanding group of the South American Cenozoic avifauna. Considered as apex predators, their hunting skills have recently been examined, but their diversity is still unresolved. Here we report a new terror bird from the late Pliocene of Argentina, represented by the most complete articulated skeleton of one yet found. Our phylogenetic analysis places this taxon among derived phorusrhacids (Mesembriornithinae). One of the most striking cranial features of the new species is the suppression of intracranial kinesis due to the presence of an independent ossified bone that increases the structural link between the lacrimal and jugal bars, and the absence of both palatal hinges. The new species possesses ossified tracheal rings and a tracheobronchial syrinx, as well as sclerotic ossicles to adjust the shape of the cornea during its diurnal vision, and reveals a mean hearing sensitivity (?2300 Hz) below the average for living species. The discovery of this new species provides new insights for studying the anatomy and phylogeny of phorusrhacids and a better understanding of this group's diversification.

Read the article »

Article DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2014.912656

Project DOI: 10.7934/P2809,
This project contains
  • 1 Media
  • 2 Documents
  • 13 Taxa
  • 1 Specimen
Total size of project's media files: 67.03k

Download Project SDD File
Currently Viewing:
MorphoBank Project 2809
  • Creation Date:
    17 January 2018
  • Publication Date:
    17 January 2018
  • Project views: 6414

    Authors' Institutions

    • Museo Municipal de Ciencias Naturales Lorenzo Scaglia

    • Universidad Nacional de Cordoba (UNC)

    • Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)

    • Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata


    member name taxa specimens media
    Federico Degrange
    Project Administrator

    Project has no matrices defined.

    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views6414
    Media views1776Media search (1469 views); M470073 (307 views);
    Project overview801
    Documents list507
    Taxon list1642
    Specimen list836
    Views for media list489

    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project132
    Project downloads132