Named By: Alvarenga - 1985.
Classification: Chordata, Aves, Cariamae, Phorusrhacidae, Psilopterinae.
Species: P. itaboraiensis (type).
Size: Up to 1 meter high.
Known locations: Brazil.
Time period: Selandian of the Paleocene.
Fossil representation: Fossils to identify one species.
Paleopsilopterus is one of the smallest and by far earliest of the terror birds with fossils dating back as far as sixty million years ago. In a world that had seen the disappearance of the dinosaurs under five million years before its existence, Paleopsilopterus thrived and was likely the form that would go onto to produce a greater diversification of terror birds including giants such as Kelenken and Brontornis.
- Um novo Psilopteridae (Aves: Gruiformes) dos sedimentos Terciários de Itaboraí, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. - Congresso Brasileiro de Paleontologia 8:17-20. - H. Alvarenga - 1985.