STL Science Center

STL Science Center

13 July 2016

Carolina Monster

Grabbing fish on the wing was once the niche of needle toothed pterosaurs and is currently the realm of petrels, pelicans, and a few other ocean-going birds. The time between pterosaurs and modern birds is littered with the psuedotoothed birds of various forms that we have not yet discovered. The Charleston Museum houses one of the largest birds that ever lived and certainly the largest pseudotoothed bird that ever took flight. Looking at the skeleton without anything for scale, the size of the bird is still quite appreciable. The head is enormous at approximately 16 in (40 cm) long but is still dwarfed by the wingspan of the bird. That wingspan is equal to approximately 20 ft (6 m), which is the same as the once common Harrier Jump Jet. Imagine a bird, as we know them, but the size of a medium sized two person jet fighter. That is a truly immense bird.

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