Argentavis ( Latin: Argentavis magnificens , literally - “a majestic Argentine bird”) is a species of extinct birds of the Teratornithidae family, which lived in the Upper Miocene in South America .
Figure reconstruction of the argentavis majestic
|International scientific name|
Argentavis was considered the largest known flying bird in the history of the Earth. In 2014, a new species of pelagornis with similar dimensions was described - Pelagornis sandersi   . Prior to argentavis, the largest flying birds were considered sea-toothed birds from the Pelagornithidae family, reaching a wingspan of 7 m.
Argentavis lived 5-8 million years ago on the territory of modern Argentina. It weighed about 70 kg  , had a height of 1.26 m  , its wingspan reached 6.9 m  (which is twice the wingspan of the largest modern birds - albatrosses ). The skull of the argentavis was 45 cm long, and the humerus was more than half a meter in length. The duration of molting is estimated at 2.5 months   . Argentavis was anatomically close to the ancient storks. According to the structure of the skull of teratornitids, it is concluded that they were not scavengers , but ate live prey, although not very large, which was swallowed whole. It is assumed that they found a large group of rodents, fell upon them from above, stunning them with their bodies, and swallowed - this method of hunting was the reason for gigantism.
The size and structural features of the wings indicate that the bird used mainly the planning flight, possibly using the ascending currents of warm air. Experts estimate the flight speed of at least 40 km / h  , presumably about 67 km / h  .
- Aiolornis - wingspan - 5 meters.
- Teratornis - wingspan - less than 4 meters, weight - 15 kg
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