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Thread: Could Thunderbirds be teratorns?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I remain unconvinced that a regular and useful inundation gave rise to a story about a catastrophic and terrifying inundation, when the world is, after all, full of actual catastrophic and terrifying inundations.

    Grant Hutchison
    You certainly have that right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I just want to say that I think the FalconCam is awesome here.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    You certainly have that right.
    Well, it's known that the annual, peaceful Nile flooding had nothing to do with the formation of the Flood myth. See, the original myth, which was later incorporated into the Epic of Gilgamesh, and later still reworked slightly to become the Noah story, came from Sumer. These are archaeological facts, we have the stories written in baked clay tablets that are that old. Every once in a while the Tigris and Euphrates rivers dished out absolutely catastrophic floods; it's little wonder that they made an impression on the locals, and they came up with a myth of a Flood to End All Floods.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Well, it's known that the annual, peaceful Nile flooding had nothing to do with the formation of the Flood myth. See, the original myth, which was later incorporated into the Epic of Gilgamesh, and later still reworked slightly to become the Noah story, came from Sumer. These are archaeological facts, we have the stories written in baked clay tablets that are that old. Every once in a while the Tigris and Euphrates rivers dished out absolutely catastrophic floods; it's little wonder that they made an impression on the locals, and they came up with a myth of a Flood to End All Floods.
    The two floods couldn't possibly have been conflated?

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    The two floods couldn't possibly have been conflated?
    No way, if you think the facts through. Once again, the Nile flooding is a relatively modest annual event. The Gilgamesh and Noah stories describe a catastrophic one-off, with much higher water.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    No way, if you think the facts through. Once again, the Nile flooding is a relatively modest annual event. The Gilgamesh and Noah stories describe a catastrophic one-off, with much higher water.
    "No way..."

    Okay then.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    You need to know how territorial each bird was. Behaviours don't fossilize well. The large birds today usually don't take on anything close to their size. If it fights back they could be grounded by an injury, which would probably be the end of them.
    Says the guy who doesn't live in the Great Western Flyway...

    Redtailed hawks and golden eagles get into it a LOT! And are surprisingly sturdy, even when hit from ambush they get up again. One golden that was eating a duck got jacked up by a big female redtail so hard it was knocked ten feet into a pond. Mind you it was stunned for a bit, but it flew off.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Says the guy who doesn't live in the Great Western Flyway...

    Redtailed hawks and golden eagles get into it a LOT! And are surprisingly sturdy, even when hit from ambush they get up again. One golden that was eating a duck got jacked up by a big female redtail so hard it was knocked ten feet into a pond. Mind you it was stunned for a bit, but it flew off.
    I call redtails the "automatic bird disappearing system".

  9. #69
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    What is the absolute maximum weight of prey the biggest of these giant birds might have been able to fly off with?

    Is it conceivable that a grown homo sapiens may once have been picked up alive by one and devoured in its nest?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by wd40; 2017-Oct-02 at 11:51 AM.

  10. #70
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    Traditionally, teratorns have been described as large scavengers, very much like oversized condors, owing to considerable similarity with condors. However, the long beaks and wide gapes of teratorns are more like the beaks of eagles and other actively predatory birds than those of vultures. Most likely teratorns swallowed their prey whole; Argentavis could technically swallow up to hare-sized animals in a single piece. Although they undoubtedly engaged in opportunistic scavenging, they seem to have been active predators most of the time.[5] Teratorns had relatively longer and stouter legs than Old World vultures; thus it seems possible that teratorns would stalk their prey on the ground, and take off only to fly to another feeding ground or their nests; especially Cathartornis seems well-adapted for such a lifestyle. Argentavis may have been an exception, as its sheer bulk would have made it a less effective hunter, but better adapted to taking over other predators' kills. As teratorns were not habitual scavengers, they most likely had completely feathered heads, unlike vultures.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teratornithidae

  11. #71
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    Why do you have a poorly photoshopped photo of a Bald Eagle with a deer? Is that supposed to support the notion that a teratorn would have carried a human to a nest (or other eating place)? You'd be better off using an actual photo of a Golden Eagle carrying a goat (which does happen). I suppose it could have happened, if the two species were living near each other? Current ideas on how these birds hunted cast doubt it would have been likely (See Noisy Rhysling's quote, above).

    CJSF
    P.S.
    Bald Eagles, for all their majestic appearance, are not strong hunters. They scavenge a lot, and take mostly fish or aquatic birds (coots, ducks, etc.) and the occasional small mammal. I doubt one could ever lift a deer.
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  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    Why do you have a poorly photoshopped photo of a Bald Eagle with a deer? Is that supposed to support the notion that a teratorn would have carried a human to a nest (or other eating place)? You'd be better off using an actual photo of a Golden Eagle carrying a goat (which does happen). I suppose it could have happened, if the two species were living near each other? Current ideas on how these birds hunted cast doubt it would have been likely (See Noisy Rhysling's quote, above).

    CJSF
    P.S.
    Bald Eagles, for all their majestic appearance, are not strong hunters. They scavenge a lot, and take mostly fish or aquatic birds (coots, ducks, etc.) and the occasional small mammal. I doubt one could ever lift a deer.
    I can't think of a bird that can carry more than it's own weight. Anyone?

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    I can't think of a bird that can carry more than it's own weight. Anyone?
    According to David Bird's The Bird Alamanac, a Pallas's Fish Eagle holds the record [for weight ratio] - a 3.7kg bird carrying a 5.9kg carp. The American Kestrel comes in second, with a 1.6kg bird carrying a 2.4kg rat. Steller's and Bald Eagles are also recording lifting slightly more than their own weight.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2017-Oct-02 at 03:51 PM. Reason: bracketed section added for clarity

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    According to David Bird's The Bird Alamanac, a Pallas's Fish Eagle holds the record - a 3.7kg bird carrying a 5.9kg carp. The American Kestrel comes in second, with a 1.6kg bird carrying a 2.4kg rat. Steller's and Bald Eagles are also recording lifting slightly more than their own weight.

    Grant Hutchison
    But none with a 80 kg. deer? Got it.

  15. #75
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    Audubon's Bird Guide reported that golden eagles, about 10 lb, could lift prey close to their own weight. My educated guess is that the percentage would start going down with bigger birds, as the heaviest ones that can fly are in the range of 30 to 50 lb for swans, bustards, etc. As I see it, no way for any bird to lift a human adult.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    Audubon's Bird Guide reported that golden eagles, about 10 lb, could lift prey close to their own weight. My educated guess is that the percentage would start going down with bigger birds, as the heaviest ones that can fly are in the range of 30 to 50 lb for swans, bustards, etc. As I see it, no way for any bird to lift a human adult.
    Which reminds me of a Gary Larson cartoon. There's a HUGE bird shadow on the ground, with a man's shadow in it's claws. Mrs. Shadow is running along below shouting "Harry! The keys! The keys!".

  17. #77
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    What's the load difference between lifting and dragging? Eagles drag fairly large animals off of cliffs, on purpose, to let gravity do the hard work of killing dangerous prey. Films of same are not hard to find.

    There is even a YouTube video of an eagle trying to drag a petite woman off of a cliff.

    That one in particular enraged my younger brother because there were four or five grown men *watching* plus the one filming.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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  18. #78
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    Link?

  19. #79
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    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  20. #80
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    I was hoping for the petite woman footage.

  21. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    I was hoping for the petite woman footage.
    Wow Chief, I tried to find it for you but ended up finding crap I can't unsee now.

    It seems women getting hucked off of cliffs on camera it disturbingly common.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  22. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    They could have been interpreting an auroral display similar to this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Maybe, maybe not. For those who haven't lived on the plains, storms can appear as popcorn in the sky, quickly gaining intensity as though the cloud that is rising flaps its wings on its ascent. And when it has flown high enough, thunder starts rumbling before the lightning appears. These storms roll by from east to west, bringing downpours for short moments before they bid adieu, leaving a trail of thundering rumbles. Maybe in the return of the sun you can smell that petrichor as you see the black specter slink away.

    For the legends of the aurora borealis, you're in raven country. Not much to speak of in terms of thunderbird mythology. The Cree and the Ojibwe have some fused thunderbird myths but nothing as significant as the Sioux and the Cherokee.

  23. #83
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    "You think that's big? You should see the birds they have up north, fill the whole sky they do!"

    I love a good sea story.

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