Named By: Patterson & Kraglievich - 1960.
Synonyms: Andalgalornis ferox, Phorohacos deautieri, Phororhacos deautieri, P. steulleti.
Classification: Chordata, Aves, Cariamae, Phorusrhacidae, Patagornithinae.
Species: A. steulleti (type).
Size: Up to 1.4 meters tall. Skull 37 centimetres long.
Known locations: Argentina.
Time period: Late Miocene to Early Pliocene.
Fossil representation: Several specimens.
Andalgalornis has a more gracile build than many other South American ‘terror birds’ and this lightweight build is also reflected in the skull and beak. In depth analysis suggests that the beak was strongest when subjected to stresses from below rather than the sides. This meant that gripping and holding large prey was a risky business for Andalgalornis, but it does support two long held theories about how terror birds hunted and dispatched their prey. One is to focus upon smaller prey that could be easily killed by picking it up and throwing it hard against the ground and then swallowing the animal. The second is that the hook tip of the beak was used to strike down onto a preys’ skull to cause a mortal injury that would result in a quick death for the prey.