Llallawavis

Name: Llallawavis ‭(‬Magnificent bird‭)‬.
Phonetic: L-lal-law-a-vis.
Named By: Federico J.‭ ‬Degrange,‭ ‬Claudia P.Tambussi,‭ ‬Matías L.Taglioretti,‭ ‬Alejandro Dondas‭ & ‬Fernando Scaglia‭ ‬-‭ ‬2015.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Aves,‭ ‬Cariamiformes,‭ ‬Phorusrhacidae,‭ ‬Mesembriornithinae.
Species: L.‭ ‬scagliai‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Roughly estimated to have been about‭ ‬1.2‭ ‬meters tall.
Known locations: Argentina.
Time period: Piacenzian of the Pliocene.
Fossil representation: Almost complete skull and skeleton,‭ ‬including soft tissue remains‭.

       While Llallawavis was not the largest phorusrhacid‭ (‬a.k.a.‭ ‬terror bird‭) ‬ever to live,‭ ‬it was at the time of the genus description the most completely preserved example of one.‭ ‬So complete was the holotype individual of Llallawavis,‭ ‬that even preserved parts of the trachea,‭ ‬and voice box were recovered,‭ ‬soft tissue areas that are usually not preserved at all.‭
       The skull of Llallawavis also shows us two distinct evolutionary adaptations.‭ ‬One is that the skull bones of Llallawavis were fused together‭ (‬in most birds they are not‭)‬,‭ ‬and it is thought that this was to withstand the forces impacted against the head when a hunting Llallawavis bashed prey animals with its head.‭ ‬The second feature is the structure of the inner ear,‭ ‬detailed studies of which have shown that it could only pick up sounds that operated within‭ ‬380‭ ‬and‭ ‬4,230‭ ‬hertz range.‭ ‬By comparison most people can‭ ‬hear an average range of about‭ ‬20‭ ‬and‭ ‬20,000‭ ‬hertz‭ (‬though people are born with different abilities and hearing ability will deteriorate with both age and exposure to excessive noise levels‭)‬.‭ ‬What this means is that Llallawavis could only hear what would sound like very low bass-like sounds,‭ ‬and may well have had a similar low frequency call when communicating with members of the same species‭ (‬e.g.‭ ‬during courtship‭)‬.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A new Mesembriornithinae‭ (‬Aves,‭ ‬Phorusrhacidae‭) ‬provides new insights into the phylogeny and sensory capabilities of terror birds.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology‭ ‬35‭ (‬2‭)‬.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Federico J.‭ ‬Degrange,‭ ‬Claudia P.Tambussi,‭ ‬Matías L.Taglioretti,‭ ‬Alejandro Dondas‭ & ‬Fernando Scaglia‭ ‬-‭ ‬2015.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Random favourites