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Animal park welcomes 'terror bird' cousin hatchling

The Local · 29 Jun 2011, 11:25

Published: 29 Jun 2011 11:25 GMT+02:00

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The four-day-old seriema bird has been drawing attention from visitors for its odd, ruffled appearance.

The animal is currently as big as a fist and has to be fed by hand, said Peter Brand, park manager at Westküstenpark St. Peter-Ording in the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

See a "Terror Bird" gallery here

Eventually it will grow into a more reasonable looking adult – typically seriemas can grow up to 80 centimetres and nest in trees three metres off the ground. Though they can fly short distances, they prefer to run and climb up trees.

Seriemas are the only known descendants of so-called “terror birds,” huge flightless carnivorous birds that roamed South America around 60 million years ago.

The frightening birds had massive beaks and were among the most dangerous predators of their time, according to research by Argentine and US scientists last year – they are thought to have hacked their victims into bloody pieces before gobbling them up. They could sprint at a blistering 48 kilometres per hour (30 mph).

Seriemas today are native to South America but are much more tame than their ancient, violent cousins. They eat small animals such as insects and rats and sometimes supplement that with nutritious plants.

Story continues below…

The nature park features a variety of unusual birds and other animals in addition to the seriemas, including ostriches and storks.

DPA/The Local/mdm

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:45 June 29, 2011 by Mr.Tayto
3m tall....eh no :)
12:50 June 29, 2011 by marimay
3m tall LOL!! I wish!
13:12 June 29, 2011 by freechoice
send all of them to Talibans!
16:13 June 29, 2011 by Bushdiver
I like the hair. It reminds me of Don King.
16:32 June 29, 2011 by Meatman
Obviously the "Terror" comes from looking at the poor thing. That has got to be right up there with Sam the ugly dog as far as looks go.
17:20 June 29, 2011 by marimay
He is not that ugly. Besides, he is a lot cuter than some human babies I have seen.
18:45 June 29, 2011 by Englishted
It doesn't say 3 m. tall .

It says they nested in trees . Their nests were 3 m. off the ground.

To paraphrase marimay.

He is not ugly. Besides ,he is a lot cuter than some German chancellors I have seen.

Now I have plagiarized I'm no longer a doctor but when comes my promotion?
19:46 June 29, 2011 by Nemo2010
Heil the new Chancellor!
19:58 June 29, 2011 by marimay
@ Englishted

The article claimed the bird could possibly grow to three meters before they changed it. lol
20:12 June 29, 2011 by Englishted

Thank you for clearing that up ,I was starting to think everyone was bonkers.
20:21 June 29, 2011 by Landmine
Terror bird? U gotta be kidding -more like "ugly" bird....
18:19 July 1, 2011 by rebelcowboy77
Ugly? Yes, but in a cute way. That chick may be ugly as sin, but I guarantee it has commited no sin. Can't say the same for all the pretty humans. Seems most people only have pretty on the outside. Long live the bird!
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