1x4 TerrorBird
Biological information
Time period : Miocene epoch to Early Pleistocene epoch
Lifestyle : Carnivore
In the series
Brought back : 1 male
Appearances : Saving the Sabretooth and
Phorusrhacos is a genus of flightless, predatory bird which lived in the Miocene epoch in South America. It was the eighth animal rescued for the park. It was arguably the easiest animal that Nigel caught.


Phorusrhacos was a huge, lightly-built bird with a fearsome beak. A recent discovery of a close relative in North America suggests that they also had claws on their wings, which is unusual, although it is not clear how these would have been used. Among the bones found in the stratum of the Santa Cruz Formation (now considered as mainly of mid-Miocene date) was the piece of a mandible which Florentino Ameghino (1887) at first described as that of an edentate mammal. In 1891, it was recognized to be a bird. Remains are known from several localities in the Santa Cruz Province, of Argentina. Phorusrhacos stood around 2.5 meters (8.2) feet tall and weighed approximately 130 kilograms (280 lbs).

In Prehistoric ParkEdit

1x4 TerrorBirdInPleistocene

The Phorusrhacos in the Pleistocene. (Saving the Sabretooth)

Saving the Sabretooth Edit

In this episode, Nigel traveled back 1,000,000 years ago to rescue a Terror Bird. After a pride of Saber-Tooth Cats abandon a Toxodon carcass, a Phorusrhacos appeared. He started feeding on the carcass. However, before it could actually eat the meat, it was then scared off by a lone male Smilodon. We observe first hand the change of an ecosystem. The mammals are out-competing the birds, and knocking them out of their niche. Nigel Marven quietly took part of the meat it dropped in order to get the Phorusrhacos through the time portal. The Phorusrhacos fell for it and it chased Nigel and the meat through the time portal. It was sent to the creature enclosure temporarily until Bob Arthur had set up its enclosure.  It was able to settle in well. 


The Phorusrhacos had got into the habit of having dust baths and in the process it tends to escape.  When Bob was cleaning the Elasmotherium field, the Phorusrhacos once again escaped.  Bob then had to call some staff to attempt the bird back into the cage with meat.

1x6 TerrorBirdHasDustbath

The Phorusrhacos taking a dust bath. (Supercroc)

Later, during the Mass Break-Out, a panicking titanosaur broke through the Phorusrhachos' enclosure.  The Phorusrhacos itself ran away.  When the break-out was over, it was returned to its enclosure.  Bob also fitted underground poles to prevent the Phorusrhacos from escaping again.

Species identityEdit

  • The kind in the series is most likely Phorusrhachos longissimus since it lived in the same place as the one in the show. Titanis (a North American terror bird from the same time) is thought to be a Phorusrhachos longissimus but it is still unknown. 


  • Phorurhacos went extinct in the Miocene. Thus went extinct by the time the episode was set, so it should have been a Titanis, which lived in the right place at a right time as Smilodon and Toxodon.
  • Even though Nigel had brought back a Phorusrhacos, he used a drawing of a Titanis to compare his size.
  • In Supercroc, the Phorusrhacos is surprisingly tame and docile, especially towards the keepers. This is an error as, as a hyper carnivore, it would have almost certainly viewed them as prey and would have certainly been a lot more ferocious and aggressive.


Terror bird watchesbv Bob PP

Terror bird staring at Bob (Supercroc)



External linksEdit