STL Science Center

STL Science Center

19 May 2016

Sheer Power

Powerful giant birds have a tendency to be popular fossil animals. We can always assume that it is because the animal is a large frightening bird when we are discussing the so-called terror birds (or giant ducks like Gastornis). Andalgalornis is also popular because it is very well known and has been the subject of high profile and very informative biomechanical studies. The vignette we featured earlier from the Witmer lab, being a high profile lab, also extends the fame of the bird. Toys are non-descript, but there are at least one or two that are purported to represent Andalgalornis. Having a charismatic scientist in the lead of the studies helps also.
Frederico Degrange with Andalgalornis
Courtesy of the Museo de La Plata.

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