STL Science Center

STL Science Center

26 September 2015

Demon-Duck of Doom

(C) Peter F. Murray
Maybe the best part of the name Bullockornis is that it is not the name by which the animal is colloquially known. The giant, heavy bill of the Miocene bird in addition to the proposed phylogenetic sisters of the bird (ducks and geese) lent their influences to the nickname Demon-Duck of Doom. It is with that nickname and the known fossil material in mind that many of the illustrations of the enormous flightless bird have been penned. The most coy looking version in the world once graced the pages of National Geographic while showing off its enormously powerful beak. The lower portion of its body was loosely based off of the other known Terror Birds of the southern hemisphere. There is probably a little bit of the Eurasian Terror Birds mixed in there; however, this Bullockornis is most definitely the most smug extinct animal to have ever been illustrated in the pages of National Geographic.

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